“We aim to start construction within the next 12 to 18 months.”
Chris Oldfield, MWCC
Ye of little faith, ye of cock-eyed aim! Why wait twelve months? Think boldly!
It took ninety years to come up with the idea and nine years to perfect the website, but only nine months to get the preliminary investigations letter signed—see how things are speeding up? There is a path over every hurdle, all will be done so Santa’s sleigh can come swooping down the Organ Pipes with the cableway wrapped round its tow bar.
In February: A new, dual-purpose all-bugs-ironed-out Ministerial Authority is signed without hesitation. All consultants appear fully engaged and ready to roll ASAP. Update MWCC Social media with a chequered flag GIFF. Go!
In March: The Safety Management Plan is ticked-off by DSG tout suite, the employment certifications etc by DOH at once. Despite weather, equipment breakdown and misunderstanding between state, Park and proponent, all bores are dug, all species sighted, all 30 surveys are conducted and completed with all speed. Weeks, not months! The “protest” delays nothing and fizzles out quickly. Consultants work triple time to complete their reports, inventing novel (and very cheap) mitigation and amelioration measures there and then. On the night of the 30th MWCC seamlessly incorporates into one Development Application the submissions from all consultant reports without a hiccup. At dawn the DA is sent to an editor post haste. At 4.57 PM MWCC receives it back, corrected, and forwards it to Hobart Council instantly. Update MWCC Social media with Happy, Happy Smiley emojies.
In April: The DA is inch perfect and flawless. Not one single Council officer questions it. They unquestionably recommend it be approved unconditionally, right away and without delay. Officers of the WPMT come to the same conclusion in almost the exact same time, seeking only a single clarification that is resolved instantaneously. The public submissions period passes with only a handful or two of submissions received, all supporting the proposal. “Built it now!” cry the people. A dozen I LOVE THE CABLE CAR stickers are enclosed and several money orders are received in hope of having the first ticket. Update MWCC Social media with $$$!
In May: The Hobart Council’s Planning Committee is enamoured; all councillors objecting are won over before you can say Chris Christ. Simultaneously, over at WPMT the Full Trust has a concern over the colour of the zebra crossing, but clarification allows the PAA to be approved directly. The combined LUPPA-WPMT PAA advice is sent to full Council at once with a big tick from both. The Council meeting is postponed to allow the Approval motion (pre-drafted) onto the Supplementary Agenda. The Council overwhelming endorses (with one abstention) the recommendation of the Planning Committee ekdam. The election of a new Federal government raises concern, but nothing is received in writing. Update MWCC Social media with “Celebrate!!!” GIFF.
In June: A handful of pesky NIMBYS appeal to the Planning Commission. Forewarned, the Commissioner has all the documentation pre-prepared and defers other matters set for July. Presto! After the statutory 14 days, the presiding officer sits up for 3 nights straight swigging nodoz and speed reading the submissions, then marks the hearing: “EXPEDITE TO JULY 1”. Update MWCC Social media: Whou-hoo!
In July: The Appeal is heard. Women swoon and brave men sob as the chairman of the MWCC describes the beauty of the cableway. With the Commission sitting 24 hours a day, teams of lawyers cross-examine a swag of so-called “expert” witnesses—professors and the like—without let. All their arguments are proven specious, wrong or inconsequential. The next day the Commissioner denies the appellants: effective immediately. Unfortunately, a further ten days must elapse before the complainants’ Supreme Court appeal window, mercifully, elapses. Update MWCC Social media with BIG GREEN TICK.
In August: The matter of the Council’s refusal to allow cable car facilities on operational land is resolved directly. To speed up matters, the state government takes up the MWCC suggestion to compulsorily acquire the land then leaps as if a gun had been fired—recalling Parliament to declare the project a Major Project just in case. The Major Project bill must sit on the table for an agonizing three days before—after prayers—it passes on the nod. The Greens only pedantically oppose it and the Speaker breaks her gavel. Update MWCC Social media with Starry Eyed-Wink GIFF.
In September: The Legislative Drafting officers burns the midnight oil—again—crafting a new Act to woo the Upper House. Parliament is recalled (again) to sanction the acquisition. It too must sit for three more days upon the table, but then passes both Houses in double quick time. The lord mayor of Hobart is delighted with the compensation deal offered by a gracious Treasurer and they concur without further ado. The National Parks budget allocation is re-jigged to obtain the compensation money forthwith. The governor in Council convene over champagne slammers to give Royal Assent. With the Land acquired, in a marathon effort, DPAC’s legal team complete the paperwork without hitch, flaw or any kind of recall or recourse required. Final Final Final Approvals are prepared p.d.q. MWCC obtains a downpayment loan and orders construction of the cable cars now. Update MWCC Social media with TREASURE + GREEN HILL.
In October: The MWCC goes out to market with a Prospectus seeking $75 million ASAP. 51% is raised from a single undisclosed [commercial-in-confidence] investor in a flash. After a renewed pitch to the mums and dads of Tasmania and sister city Qwong Ju, the offer is soon over-subscribed. The bank manages to set the terms, coordinate the international transfers and complete all the paperwork with a week to spare. A completely spurious Foreign Investment Review Board challenge is quashed in short order by special agreement between new officials in the federal Environment and Treasury departments whose co-ordination is impeccable. Update MWCC Social media with Thumbs-up emoji!
In November: One quick call to Canberra and the EPBC Act is dispensed with on the spot. Comprehensive Start-Work orders are promptly issued. None bounce. The approvals are signed, sealed and delivered, slightly smudged, to the doorstep of the MWCC on November 28th inst. The completed cable cars arrive in Hobart with the ink on the nameplates (Bold and Burbury) not even dry. Update MWCC Social media with XXXXXXXXX heart, heart, purple hearts GIFF + Santa sleigh. “MSG me, Will”
In December The Premier cancels Christmas Eve’s cabinet meeting and skips lunch to cut the ribbon across Cascade Road, right outside the Brewery—Up yours, CUB! The first dump truck turns on its engine. The crowd roars. Suddenly, "Mount Wellington Defenders" slip the cordon and lock-on to the truck. The truck stalls. SOCIAL MEDIA UP ROAR. Pop!
In January The foreshadowed listing of the Organ Pipes National Heritage site causes the federal minister to seek a one-month pause, a new appeal is lodged by the Cradle Coast authority ex parte, on an urgent intervention request from MWCC the new state Tourism chief demurs, the next truck up the mountain is unauthorised, overloaded and tips, three protestors are injured, the WPMT waves a red flag, 700 protestors blockade the mountain-top, the majority funder waivers and then pulls out, a white knight investor deadline is crossed, for non-payment the cableway manufacturer immediately sues…and the dreamer awakens with a terrible start.
kunanyi lives happily ever after.