In huge news, it is being reported that a formal application has been lodged to develop a cable car on Hobart’s kunanyi/Mount Wellington. This divisive project has been the subject of a long and determined campaign from local residents who oppose the cable car.

The full scale of the project has not yet been released by the proponent. Local government councillors could vote on the future of kunanyi /Mount Wellington as soon as August.

The following comes from ABC Tasmania: The journalist is Phoebe Hosier.

Key points:

  • Full details on the proposal are being kept under wraps till Thursday
  • Cable car proponents say there are no “fundamental” changes
  • Opponents predict more protests as the council considers the application

The company behind the plans, the Mount Wellington Cableway Company (MWCC), said there were no surprises or fundamental changes to its original plans but that it would not release further details until Thursday.

With an 800-page development application (DA) now formally lodged with the Hobart City Council, councillors could vote on the future of kunanyi /Mount Wellington as soon as August.

The proposal for a cable car spanning more than two kilometres from the base of the mountain to the summit has divided the community.

MWCC chairman Chris Oldfield said it was an exciting time for the project and an “enormous” amount of work had gone into the assessment process that formed part of the development application.

“I think it’s historic that we can have a project of this magnitude of this importance, that can be assessed through an existing assessment process,” he said.

“[We’ve] designed the best possible project that offers protection to Mount Wellington.

“We have confidence that it will be assessed in light of the amount of work we’ve done and that’s all we can really hope for.”

Mr Oldfield said the basis of the development application was similar to details already in the public arena.

“There hasn’t been any fundamental design changes,” he said.

The company will give full details at an announcement on the mountain’s summit on Thursday.

More protests flagged

Residents Opposed to the Cable Car spokesman Ted Cutlan said the much-awaited DA had been promised years ago.

“Finally, after all these years the lodging of the DA means people will finally have the detail to understand just how objectionable this land grab is,” he said.

“They’ll see how big the building is proposed for on top of the [mountain’s] organ pipes, and it means we can have closure on this.”

Once the full details were known, Mr Cutlan said people would once again be mobilised to protest.

“Now that there is definitely a DA, people will realise this could possibly happen, and I can see huge rallies and huge protests happening,” he said.

“I think the public will understand just how obnoxious this thing is.

Planning officers will now have 28 days to assess the company’s application against the planning scheme to ensure it meets all requirements.

The council can request a 28-day extension if more information is needed from the company, meaning the council will have up to 56 days to assess the project.

The application will then be recommended for approval or rejection by the council’s planning committee before being put to a full council meeting.