Sometimes stupid ideas just won’t die. Especially if they have big money or political influence behind them. Just look at the endless debate about developing a domestic nuclear power industry in Australia, which is constantly pushed and platformed by conservative politicians and the Murdoch press. Its just not going to happen, but they just can’t let it go.

It’s the same with proposals for commercial development within national parks and other important conservation reserves. The public don’t support these proposals, yet some governments keep pushing the development agenda. The Tasmanian government is an especially bad ‘repeat offender’. They actively promote bad projects like new commercial huts at places like Lake Malbena on the Central Plateau, the cable car on kunanyi/ Mt Wellington and the cableway at Cradle Valley.

In some welcome news, it was revealed in Senate Estimates that the Commonwealth has withdrawn federal funding for the Cradle Valley Cableway. As noted by Greens MP Nick McKim, “The project never stacked up, and never had a social license. It was simply a pipe-dream of the develop-at-all-costs brigade, and a lazy attempt at pork barrelling. Its cheerleaders should be ashamed of themselves.”

The ABC reports that the Commonwealth has withdrawn a $30 million grant from the Cradle Mountain Cableway after the Tasmanian government failed to meet the April deadline for providing required information.

The cableway was part of the 2016 Cradle Mountain master plan, and intended to connect the Cradle Mountain visitor centre to Dove Lake for ‘all-weather access’. It has been strongly opposed by the environment and outdoors communities.

Anyone who has visited Cradle Valley knows there is an efficient bus service that gets people from the visitor centre to the various trails that join the road, plus to the viewing area at Lake Dove. As noted by the Tasmanian National Parks Association, visitor surveys found ‘high levels of satisfaction with the current shuttle bus service and the opportunities to experience walks and the beauty, environment, nature and scenery of the national park’.

The cableway proposal was always a unnecessary project with an unacceptable footprint. As Nick McKim put it: “It was simply a pipe-dream of the develop-at-all-costs brigade”. The Tasmanian National Parks Association (TNPA) describes it as a ‘thought bubble’ idea for an unnecessary and inappropriate cableway.

The Tasmanian government has not ruled out attempting to proceed with the cableway. As the TNPA says: “the Tasmanian govt is now going cap-in-hand to Canberra again for a contribution to a proposal now estimated to cost $190 million. And like a certain footy stadium, there has been no public details provided or debate on the concept itself”.

Check these resources from the TNPA about the proposal.

You can stay up to date on the campaign against this proposal via the TNPA facebook page.