Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps



Cradle Mountain Film Fest

Come up to Cradle Mountain, Tasmania from April 6 to 8 2018 for a weekend of adventure and film.

We are chuffed to be hosting the Tasmanian exclusive screening of Mountainfilm On Tour all the way from Telluride, Colorado at Cradle Mountain. Mountainfilm is a fantastic festival that showcases the best of the world’s adventure films.

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The environment and the Tasmanian election

The Tasmanian election is largely being fought on ‘bread and butter’ issues like health, jobs and education. Gambling and the future of pokies is also a significant issue. But around the edges of debate there are some interesting promises and policy commitments around the natural environment.

While environment debate during elections tends to focus on forestry issues, this time, the future of existing national parks and reserves has been more dominant. With Tasmania looking to develop new tourism opportunities, especially in the realm of nature-based tourism, the park system is seen as the next frontier by the state government, which has been pursuing private development with national parks.

The following covers some of the debate and policy being announced about the natural environment in Tasmania. The election will be held on March 3. It does not seek to cover broader energy or climate issues.

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More private development in Tasmania’s parks system?

Negotiations are underway to allow ‘no fewer’ than six private hut-based walks under the Tasmanian government’s wilderness tourism expression of interest program.

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The Mt Wellington/ kunanyi cable car and the Tasmanian election

With a state election happening in Tasmania on March 3, the Liberal government quietly gave the Mount Wellington Cable Car Company permission to start drilling and surveying on the mountain just days before the state election was called. Plans to build a cable car up Mt Wellington/ kunanyi are being resisted by many in the Tasmania community.

Residents group opposed to the cable car (Respect the Mountain. No Cablecar) have put out a call for people to contact the ALP, to encourage the party to clarify their position on the cable car. They are also calling on people to lobby the brewery CUB, which has land at the base of the mountain, and who has been approached by the developer to be involved in the project.

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TAS gov gives OK to start drilling on Mt Wellington/ kunanyi

Mountain Journal has been covering the long campaign against a planned cable car up the face of Mt Wellington/ kunanyi, in Hobart. In alarming news, the ABC is reporting that Tasmania’s State Growth Minister quietly gave the Mount Wellington Cable Car Company permission to start drilling and surveying on the mountain just days before the state election was called.

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Construction starts on Cradle Mountain tourist centre

In 2016 a new tourism plan for northern Tasmania has launched, which raised the possibility of there being new developments adjacent to the Cradle Mountain National Park. Its key intention was to greatly increase visitors to the north of the state.

Part of the detail of the plan included a ‘cable car’/ gondola which would run from just outside the northern boundary of the park into the park at Dove Lake. The cornerstone of the proposal was the development of new tourist centre, which is where the gondola would start from.

This week saw construction start on the $21.8 million ‘gateway precinct’ (ie new tourist centre) and Dove Lake re-development. According to Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania chief executive Luke Martin, the start of construction was “a significant day of epic proportion”.

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The Geeves Effect – another attack on wilderness

A group of investors are proposing a track to a remote wilderness lake at the base of Federation Peak in Tasmania’s South-West (Check here for our previous report).

They have developed a consortium called the Geeves Effect, and are pushing for a 2.5 km track extension to ‘provide walkers with views of Lake Geeves’. They say that ‘the bushwalk could rival Cradle Mountain and Three Capes Tracks as a tourism magnet’.

Since our last report on this proposal, more information has come to light. This comes from the Tasmanian National Parks Association.

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Tasmanian ALP pledges $30 million to Cradle Mountain cable car

In a worrying move, the ALP in Tasmania has announced that it will allocate $30 million if they win the next state election towards the cable car which is planned for the Cradle Mountain National Park in Tasmania.

The idea for a cable car was raised in a Master Plan for the Cradle Valley section of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park, which was developed by the Cradle Coast Authority.

The cable car would connect the Cradle Mountain visitor centre to Dove Lake. Construction of the cable car would require the Commonwealth Government to chip in another $30 million.

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Stop the privatisation of kunanyi /Mt Wellington: Community forum

Mountain Journal has often reported on the proposal to build a cable car up kunanyi/ Mt Wellington in Hobart. With the recent passage of legislation which will facilitate the development, the campaign against the cable car is entering an important stage. There will be a public forum this Sunday calling on the government to stop the development.

This Sunday 26 November at 2pm.

Continue reading “Stop the privatisation of kunanyi /Mt Wellington: Community forum”

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