macro-economic BOMBSHELLS

The MWCC's Macro Economic Impact report explained ten impacts that had hardly been mentioned by the MWCC.

•    Contrary to the MWCC's claim that a cable car will "grow Tasmania’s tourism appeal", the report categorically rebuts this, saying: “the cable car does not, in itself, drive new demand.” It is not a tourist attractor. The cable car is a cannibal that feeds off tourists already attracted to Hobart. It rides on the coat tails of increased visitation and increased spend. “It is unlikely to induce additional demand”. 

•    The study helped reveal the mystery of the ticket price and the cable car’s projected revenue. The revenue is, by definition, half the economic activity created by the model's multiplier, so the predicted revenue is $30 million. When this Revenue is divided by ride visitation + F&B (food and beverage) on 300,000 trips the ticket price can be estimated: a return trip for an adult would be $90.

•    In comparing the spend by cruise ship passengers in each major Australian port, the report shows that per person spend in Hobart ($161) is half that of Melbourne, Adelaide and Darwin. This is used to suggest that there is potential to double the tourist spend. The consequence is that if every cable car ride generates an extra $100 it goes directly to the MWCC because as well as the ride, more than half the spend from the typical shore excursion includes lunch and a souvenir, and the Pinnacle Centre would collect that spend, too. Many existing transport, catering, dining and even coffee shop takings would decrease as the cable car visitor aboard shuttle buses by-passed the city for their exclusive sky train-cafe-gift-shop experience.

•    The statewide employment impact is “inconsequential” and the impact on structural employment transfer is “zero”. 

•    The bulk of the $50 million construction spend will not flow to Tasmanians. Tasmanians will be employed to wreck their mountain, cutting and digging and pouring concrete, but the big money: the construction steel, the cables, the cable cars, the concrete, the high tech fittings and fitters, the service fees, the building furniture: the bulk of the spend will be exported. All that money is given away.

•    The essential nature of the enterprise is revealed. “Large numbers of passengers" require “large scale attractions”. Operations that can handle massive groups quickly. A mass market requires a massive transit system. That is what the cable car offers: a mass transit, quick buck operation.

•    A key market sector will be Chinese tourists. “This growing market sector enjoys travel on large cruise ships” and, conveniently, “our summer is their winter—peak travel times for them.” Winter is China’s opposite season.

•    The government’s interest is explained: “A key factor for sustaining business confidence is “visible progress on key projects”. “As well as providing the visibility of a successful entrepreneurial project to other potential investors.” It doesn’t matter if, long term, it fails; it offers the façade of progress now. 

•     “Local patronage is forecast to be a relatively small proportion of total riders.” The interests and concerns of locals are not worth catering for. 

•    “Further capacity investment in hotel rooms will be required in coming years.” The MWCC would support any hotel development—Fragrance Group, you have a high-rise loving ally.

  • Though no state government funds are sought for the cable car, it is not true that no public funds are required. “Funds “to access a new trail park via MWCC” have been sought from Glenorchy City Council (and granted in principle?), Hobart City Council and the Cascades Brewery.