Tasmanians have woken up to the 2023 Parliamentary year with Premier Jeremy Rockliff pledging to bypass proper process, sideline the decision of the independent planning adjudicator and find some special new ‘pathway’ to approve the odious kunanyi cable car.
Where does this end?
Despite pledging to govern with ‘heart’, the Premier’s desire to approve the cable car, against the science, planning advice and clear opposition of Hobartians and the Aboriginal Community signals his priorities ignore transparency, proper process and the protection of what makes the state special.
To make matters worse, his ‘Principal Adviser’ on tourism since 2019 (possibly the person responsible for giving advice on the ‘pathway’ to approval) has recently left his office and been appointed to Chair of the Mount Wellington Cableway Company.
Nepotism and farce is alive and well in Premier Rockliff’s Tasmania, as articulated in our joint release with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre – see here.
We don’t yet know how Premier Rockliff proposes to sideline proper process and push through a cable car approval, but this is a perversity that we need to head off. Email local Liberal members Elise Archer and Madeline Ogilvie and cc the Premier Jeremy Rockliff and Labor Leader Rebecca White
Key points we’ll be making in our correspondence include that:
the development has been through the proper, statutory process, including the developer exercising its right to appeal and the cable car was comprehensively rejected on many diverse ground;
the cable car proposal assessed in the appeal before the independent planning tribunal was described by the proponent as its ‘best effort’ and all alternative routes and options had been thoroughly investigated and dismissed;
prolonging the cable car saga with special approval for the Premier’s mates will not succeed and simply further delay progress on genuine solutions to the tourist and visitor pressure facing the mountain;
we will never give up on protecting kunanyi.
Where this all goes is yet to play out, but how it ends is pretty predictable – increased community conflict, more time and money wasted and a complete loss of faith in process and politics. And no cable car, as we’ll never let it happen.
Email your political reps, get your signs back out and make a noise about kunanyi, what she means to you, and what you think of special political deals for a flawed, toxic proposal put forward by people who consistently show incompetence and a complete contempt for the interests of others.
For a cable car-free kunanyi
Residents Opposed to the Cable Car
PS – Visit the ROCC store and get your pro-Mountain merch out and about – see here
Like Respect the Mountain on Facebook and Instagram (@respectthemtn) – for daily posts and up-to-date actions
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.
Residents Opposed to the Cable Car (ROCC) has welcomed the decision of Tasmania’s planning tribunal to refuse a permit for the development of a cable car on kunanyi/Mt Wellington, and now it’s time to celebrate and thank the many thousands of people who have joined the campaign to protect kunanyi/Mt Wellington.