The development application for a controversial proposal to build a cable car on kunanyi/Mt Wellington could be voted on as early as July, but members of the Aboriginal community say the site is sacred and they will do “whatever it takes” to stop it going ahead.
There has been a long community campaign against the proposal to build a cable car up the face of kunanyi/Mt Wellington, the mountain which sits above nipaluna/ Hobart. After a long silence from the developer, the Mount Wellington Cableway Company (MWCC) has submitted its 800-page proposal to build a cable car on the mountain. Hobart City Council says it can now assess the cable car development application after the developers lodged the final two pieces of information.
A key issue will be the impacts on cultural heritage. According to reporting by the ABC: ‘The company says a recently completed Aboriginal Heritage survey of the area found no evidence of relics or Aboriginal sites within the footprint of the development.
But the Tasmanian Aboriginal Corporation’s Nala Mansell said an interstate archeologist could not properly assess the site.
“There’s so much more to learn about kunanyi rather than just the stones and bones that can be found in an archaeological survey, and therein lies the problem.”
Ms Mansell said she had “people ready” to “fight against the destruction of this site”.
“The Aboriginal community are ready and waiting to do whatever it takes to stop this cable car going ahead,” she said.
The company said it would like to start building the infrastructure by the end of the year, but there are various processes to go through yet.
The planning application will officially open for public consultation on May 24 and close on June 22.
The council can only take into account opinions lodged through their official process within the time frame.
At the same time, independent planning consultants have been brought in to assess the application. They have 42 days to do so unless the developer grants an extension.
They will then make a recommendation for the council to approve or refuse.
From there it goes to the council’s planning committee which will vote to approve or refuse it. The council estimates it will reach this stage in July.
After that, the full council will need to assess it, giving it the final tick of approval or stamp of rejection, on a local government level.
If it passes, then it will head to the Tasmanian Planning Commission.
The proposal will also need to get approval from the Wellington Park Trust and the Federal Government under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
You can make a submission here (from May 24).
Check the Respect the Mountain – No Cable Car facebook page for extra information.