The ongoing attempt to build a cable car up the face of Mt Wellington/ kunanyi in Tasmania is at a turning point. This project would cause major visual scarring to the mountain and many localised ecological impacts. It represents an old fashioned ‘Disneyland’ approach to tourism and is widely opposed by the community in Hobart.
Mathew Groom, member for Denison and also a close friend of the cable proponent, has now released legislation which would allow for land to be acquired on Mt Wellington. This would bring the project much closer to being realised. There is a short window of time to express your concerns about this legislation. Please see below for details.
For background on the proposal to build the cable car, please check the articles available here.
The legislation is called the “Mount Wellington Cable Car Facilitation Bill 2017”.
The local residents group which is opposing the cable car (Residents Opposing the Cable Car, ROCC) has said “it could also be called the “Matthew Groom helping his mate Adrian Bold get around having to put in a proper development application to the Hobart City Council” Bill. Certainly the fact that there appears that there is a close connection between the developer and Mr Groom provides a good reason for the government not to proceed with a vote on the legislation.
The response period is open for less than three weeks.
Please write a submission
During this time, members of the public can send a comment (as a submission) explaining their concerns about the proposal to build a cable car up intact mountain ecosystems. You just need to address the email to:
Attention Anne Beach,
GPO Box 536,
Hobart, TAS, 7001
Re: Mount Wellington Cable Car Facilitation Bill 2017
In your email:
- State that you wish to respond to the Bill.
- Explain your opposition (eg visual scarring, the physical impact of building the towers in a steep mountain environmnt, the fact that the face of Mt Wellington is composed of sensitive cool temperate and sub alpine vegetation which will experience disruption from the building of the project, etc. See below for more detailed suggestions on what you could include in your submission)
- You may want to express disappointment that the government is pursuing this venture despite widespread community concern
- Add your name and address
Submissions can be submitted electronically by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
or by mail to: State Growth, Attention Anne Beach, GPO Box 536, Hobart TAS 7001.
If you live outside Tasmania, but visit the state as a tourist, please mention this fact and point to the fact that there are already many reasons to visit the state (maybe put in some examples of why you visit) and that this costly eyesore will not boost tourism to Hobart, but could in fact damage it.
If you’re short for time:
There is an online submission process. You can cut and paste the dot points from above and re-write to reflect your concerns.
Extra detail to use in your submission
Please draft a submission in your own words to maximise your impact. The Environmental Defenders Office have produced an excellent briefing explaining the Bill in more detail. The Bill and more information on the Government process can be viewed here. Submissions close on 4th August. Here are some key points that you might want to include in your submission:
- Providing less than three weeks for public comments does not suggest a genuine desire for public consultation.
- A cable car up Mt Wellington would permanently damage an ancient landscape and Aboriginal heritage site. The aesthetics of beautiful Mt Wellington on and around the Organ Pipes would be permanently damaged, adversely affecting the experiences of hundreds of thousands of recreationalists, including walkers, climbers, mountain-bikers and motorists.
- The metal, glass and concrete of a cable car, its terminus and its pylons will intrude upon the magnificent views of Mt Wellington that are enjoyed by tens of thousands of people from many different aspects.
- The Bill exempts the cable car project from the landowner consent requirements for public land and allows the State Government to acquire public land for private development. If passed, this Bill would set a dangerous precedent – giving the green light for further land grabs of public land for the sole benefit of private developers.
- Currently, permission from landowners would be required before the cable car proponent could enter land to undertake any work required to prepare a development application (e.g. surveying work, biodiversity studies, Aboriginal heritage assessments, traffic surveys). Under the Bill, the Minister can grant an authority to enter land, subject to any terms or conditions. As drafted, this power is not limited to land within Wellington Park owned by Hobart City Council and could potentially be used to authorise entry onto private land to carry out preliminary assessments.
- Land acquired under the Bill will become Crown land and remain as part of Wellington Park. However, Section 7G of the Land Acquisition Act 1993 requires parliamentary approval for acquired land to be used for any purpose other than the proposed infrastructure. So, unless specifically provided for in the acquisition order, this could prevent land acquired for the cable car from being used for public recreation.
More information is available on the Minister for State Growth’s website here.