BANNER IMAGE: MWCC infographic from its Official Detail booklet
In his Tas Weekend column (of July 13–14) Charles Wooley asks what “wilderness” resorts with helipads, salmon farms, poker machine barns and tasteless city hotel projects have in common?
Is it, Wooley asks sarcastically, altruism?
Wooley quotes the kind of alternative reality developers would have us believe in where their pet project is “to be built for the public benefit” or “to provide jobs”, “help alleviate the homelessness crisis” or “enhance the visitor experience”—the latter concoction Wooley characterises ‘a most unctuous and garrulous phrase which might well be inscribed on the tombstone when we finally bury the remains of our once charming way of life.’
The shenanigans of land developers are legion, but was it fair for Wooley to cast the mountain’s cable car developer (MWCC) into that dissembling company of men and women on-the-make?
Whether any statements by the MWCC bare any resemblance to those quoted above you can judge for yourself. The MWCC says its proposed Access Road and new junction are “a benefit to local residents” and “the cable car is really just the means of getting people up to the mountain to enable them to enjoy what the mountain has to offer.” It is an “economic development that offers a true sustainable future for the mountain”.
What about the money?
“We are not here to make a profit for ourselves, but for the benefit of everyone else” is the philanthropic chorus Wooley hears from developers. A nice earn apparently is the furthest thing from the thinking of the MWCC too. Company chair Chris Oldfield told the media its “facilities” proposed for the summit “are not set up to be primarily commercial”. A cable car would, the website claims, “provide the visitor economy, fellow operators and new ventures a much welcome boost.” But what boost for the MWCC itself? The nearest the company comes to mentioning profit in its Official Detail booklet is “Tasmania’s golden opportunity”.
‘Mate, pull the other one!’ scoffs Wooley. ‘All such claims and incredible arguments are, at the very least, disingenuous. “Having this for next to nothing to make a shitload of money out of it” or “Getting rich with a little help from our mates in Government”’ is what Wooley says is going on; they’re all in it ‘for the love of something that dare not speak its name.’
It is for the love of something the Bible says is the root of all evil.
Yet the cable car proponents surpass all such veiled avarice when they also try to convince us that “We love the mountain”.
What the Mount Wellington Cableway Company has in mind for the mountain is rape.