With your support Residents Opposed to the Cable Car joined the planning appeal proceedings in TASCAT and engaged expert evidence to make the case for the values of kunanyi/Mt Wellington and defend her against the cable car.
While we were successful, and TASCAT comprehensively rejected the slightly scaled-down development proposal, it may not be the end that it should be. Many of you would have seen the Rockliff Government, through a junior Minister, the Infrastructure Minister, and the Premier himself, declare their unwavering support for a cable car and urge the proponent to reconsider its plans and have another go.
No one really knows what this means. Is this just chest beating and posturing, or if Premier Rockliff is prepared to pervert proper process and bypass the conventional planning system by using its controversial Major Projects process or some other special deal to finally approve a project proven to be deficient?
Meanwhile, conversations have already started about the transport and other proposals that genuinely address issues associated with so many people visiting the Mountain. Aside from the perversion of proper process, if Premier Rockliff does step in with a special approval it will again displace and delay the exploration of genuine options for the Mountain, with the process and political debate again dominated by the cable car.
Have your say on the future of the Mountain. The Wellington Park Trust is consulting the public on its Draft Visitor and Recreation Strategy, an important document given the relentless visitor and tourism pressure the Mountain is under. Thankfully the strategy doesn’t mention a cable car and is largely a positive vision for public access to the Mountain. Have your say here.
Whatever happens in 2023, the TASCAT appeal process (described by the cable car proponent as its independent, non-biased chance for assessment) was a significant blow to the credibility and prospects of a cable car ever being built on the mountain.
As the year ends, we celebrate the TASCAT decision and stand ready for any new challenge that Premier Rockliff might concoct. Hopefully commonsense prevails and the TASCAT decision is
accepted and respected and progress is made on credible, compliant and socially acceptable options for visitor access and amenity on the Mountain.
A thousand thanks to you for your support over many years. Enjoy the Mountain these holidays and get on her slopes to celebrate the Christmas waratahs. Have your say on the future visitor strategy and stay loud and proud about keeping kunanyi cable car-free.
Congratulations and thank you again,
Image credit: Tim Cooper
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