Road keeping mainland buyers from Scottsdale: Real estate

AGRICULTURE: The quality of the main artery into the North-East is holding the region back, stakeholders say. Picture: Geoff Robson

The quality of the Sideling road is a major factor in stopping people from moving to Scottsdale and surrounding towns, Harcourts North East owner Andrew Bennett says.

The Dorset Council is attempting to secure federal funding to upgrade the road, The Examiner reported last week.

Dorset mayor Greg Howard said he was in discussion with both sitting Labor member Ross Hart, and Liberal candidate for Bass Bridget Archer.

Mr Bennett confirmed the council’s view that the quality of the Sideling was keeping land values in the North-East down.

“The Sideling’s a big thing,” he said.

“You get people from the mainland coming out here to look at a place, and once they drive out here [on the Sideling], that’s it. They’re not interested.”

The drive from Launceston to Scottsdale is about an hour, whether via the notoriously twisty Sideling (the section of the Tasman Highway between Scottsdale and Launceston) or via Lilydale.

Mr Bennett said it was his belief that if the drive from Launceston to Scottsdale could be reduced to around half an hour, it would also be an attractive commuting option for people working in the city.

“There’s about a $100,000 difference between a house in Launceston and a house in Scottsdale – that’s roughly speaking,” he said.

“So I think people would be really interested in buying out here if they could get into town in half an hour or so.”

Meanwhile, motorbike rider Dennis Francis became alarmed about the safety implications of the road during the 2019 summer temperatures.

He said that in summer, riders were warning each other on Facebook not to take the road.

“The Sideling is baking in the heat,” he said in January.

“We have a crew up there with the water cart trying to keep the pavement temperatures down, so it doesn’t run and peel up everywhere.”

Cr Howard has said that securing funding for the Sideling to be upgraded to at least a B-Double standard was the only election promise the Dorset Council was seeking.

While a federal election has not officially been called yet, the announcement is expected any day now.

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