A developer has long attempted to build a cable car up the face of kunanyi/ Mt Wellington, above Hobart (background information available here). It has been resisted for years by local residents, environmentalists, and many others who fear the visual impacts of the project.
The proponent, Mount Wellington Cable Way Company (MWCC), had been requested by Hobart City Council (HCC) to provide additional information before it could consider the development application (DA). MWCC has now provided extra details.
The Chair of MWCC Chris Oldfield said:
“We have now finished almost all of the additional work requested by the HCC which we believe substantially strengthens our DA.
“HCC now has everything it needs from us except our bushfire plan developed in consultation with the Tasmanian Fire Service on which we are awaiting their final feedback. We expect that will be lodged separately very soon.
“Our DA and the additional information we have now provided demonstrate clearly that the project will address current traffic congestion, enhance the mountain environment, promote its heritage and vastly improve facilities for visitors.
“It will provide between $79 million to $99 million net economic benefit to Tasmania’s economy each year, 200 jobs during its construction and 80 new jobs (50 FTE) in engineering, hospitality and the tourism sectors once operational.
He said once Council officers assessed the additional information it would publicly release the entire DA, along with Council’s assessment of how it addresses the relevant planning requirements.
“Once we get planning approval we are in a great position to start work with the aim of having the cable car operating by the second half of 2022.”
Local group opposing the proposal, Residents Opposed to the Cable Car (ROCC) said in response:
Residents Opposed to the Cable Car (ROCC) have questioned the timing and intent of the Mount Wellington Cableway Company’s (MWCC) announcement that it has again submitted incomplete information regarding its Development Application (DA) to build a private commercial centre on the summit of kunanyi/Mt Wellington, accessed by a cable car.
ROCC again called for the additional information to be released, in line with the MWCC’s commitment to deliver ‘additional levels of transparency’, noting the proponent’s admission that the additional information is missing key elements, specifically a Bushfire Management Plan.
ROCC questioned if other requested elements of the DA were missing.
“This is a controversial proposal to develop a massive private commercial precinct on public land on the summit of kunanyi, and a cable car that cuts straight across the iconic Organ Pipes”, said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for ROCC. “The developers have committed to transparency around all development information, but again withhold release of its submission to the Hobart City Council.
“The proponent has announced a third attempt to meet requested DA standards, but it won’t release the information publicly and it is already demonstrably deficient. It begs the question, what is this announcement all about?”
In January 2020 the Hobart City Council’s advisory panel deemed the DA noncompliant for a second time and requested additional information including:
· Bushfire planning
· Aboriginal Heritage assessment
· Traffic impacts
· Geotechnical Assessment
Opponents of the cable car stand ready to engage in the Council assessment process and continue to highlight the dangers of the Gutwein Government’s proposed Major Projects assessment, a tailor made process to fast-track projects like the cable car that struggle to otherwise stack up.
“Proposed Major Projects assessment allows projects failing to meet the requirements of a council assessment to be stripped from that process and run through a fast-track assessment that cuts back community involvement and removes rights of appeal.”
Leader of the Tasmanian Greens, Cassy O’Connor, said:
Proponents of a private cable car on the publicly owned summit of Kunanyi/Mt Wellington are treating the planning system and people of Hobart with contempt.
In January, Hobart City Council deemed the cable car development application non-compliant, and requested a complete package of assessment reports. MWCC has again failed on this front, and seem more worried about making excuses than actually meeting council requirements.
It begs the question. Why is MWCC so casual about the Hobart City Council planning process?
Are they just biding time until the Liberal and Labor parties pass the divisive, developer-driven Major Projects legislation?
The mountain and its summit are public land.
To show so little regard for the Council and public owners of the pinnacle says much about where MWCC’s priorities lie.
And, it’s not with good planning process, or transparency.
MWCC clearly wants to get around having to deal with public involvement in its plans.
SOURCE FOR THESE RELEASES.
Each of these media releases were originally published on the Tasmanian Times website.
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