CANDIDATE STATEMENTS ON THE CABLE CAR
Below are the candidate-authorised statements on the cable car question.
STANDING AGAINST THE CABLE CAR
Vica Bayley (Independent) “I am completely against it. It is publicly owned, reserved land, its sense of place is vital, the process to date has been poor—a perversion of process, the state government has been secretive and the development has disempowered the people.” It is mass tourism. It is “the mountain’s cruise ship”. Hear Bayley speak below the Organ Pipes.
Deborah Brewer (Greens) “I don’t think we want a cable car up the mountain or the conference centre on top.” On her campaign facebook page Brewer asked “Do people realise what this development is like, how invasive it is, and impractical to boot?” In personal correspondence she wrote: “Our mountain needs us right now to be courageous and fight to stop this development. Cable cars and convention centres are yesterday developments. Visitors will cringe. We can make something uniquely our own that lets our beautiful mountain remain beautiful and wild for all our tomorrows.” Brewer offers an alternative vision of “a world class training and educational facility at The Springs and to experience the beauty of our mountain all-weather electric vehicles. She has called to see research that told her that a cable car was what tourists wanted and “research that tells me that locals have been provided all the facts.”
John ‘Polly’ Farmer (Independent) Farmer told Compton “I don’t support the proposition”. His website statement reads: “I like the mountain as it is. It is the silent, majestic, permanent presence that all who live in this part of the world consciously or sub-consciously acknowledge every day. It defines Hobart. It gives us a sense of place, something far more valuable than the tourist dollars that will flow into the pockets of the cable car's operators. If we commercialise the mountain we cheapen it and cheapen Hobart. We undersell the importance of its presence. It is timeless and it deserves better. I also recognise that Pinnacle Road and the carpark at the pinnacle are not coping with the volume of traffic. Innovative thinking around a development at The Springs including a park-and-ride facility using built-for-purpose transport might begin the move towards less controversial and divisive options.”
Richard Griggs (Independent) A keen bushwalker and mountain-lover, Griggs told Compton he was “not supportive of the proposal”, a view he also expressed at the Australia Institute candidate forum. His candidate statement is: "It is a wild place, compared to the rest of Hobart, and a cable car is not consistent with that. MONA tells us that when we are brave enough do tread our own path and do something new and different, that is what gets people visiting Tasmania. Applying this to the mountain tells us we should avoid cable cars which are common around the rest of the world. We should be able to do something better.” Griggs also posted a video exploring his reasoning for not favouring a cable car.
Meg Webb (Independent) “I am against this proposal for a cable car absolutely. The process has been decisive and it has a stink about it. We need to have a conversation about how we access the mountain, how we interact with the mountain. People want to have the conversation, but this proposal isn’t actually palatable to most people I speak to.” On facebook Webb wrote: “I do not support the cable car proposal. I am concerned that the process on this proposal has been divisive, exclusionary and conducted in the interests of a private business instead of the community interest.” Webb’s website argues that Hobart must start again, and go through a process of exploring all “ideas for locals and visitors to access and enjoy kunanyi/Mt Wellington, and then choose from them the best and most appropriate that fits with our community views and values.”
Blair Brownless (Independent) “I seek to balance continued economic growth with protecting our environment and our precious way of life, so I am on record as a soft “yes”—if everything lines up. I want to see the full proposal and the business case, and I have an open mind, but I would have massive concerns if it was anywhere near the Organ Pipes or if the structure on top of the mountain was too high.”
Madeleine Ogilvie (Independent) At Fern Tree Ogilvie said “I am officially neutral. The process hasn’t been good, but we need to see what comes out of the planning process. I will play it as I see it.” She seeks more discussion. “Progress must be informed by proper planning and strong consultative processes.” Originally reported as saying the project should be a project of state significance, Ogilvie later expressed “serious concern over the potential for ministerial discretion and call-in powers” in the proposed Major Projects legislation. In personal correspondence she says “I support a planning scheme that has community consultation built into its core and I am on record in Hansard as not supporting expanded Ministerial call-in powers.” Another focus for Ogilve is “keeping Pinnacle Road (aka Ogilvie’s Scar) open, well-maintained and free.”
Robert Manning (Independent) “Of course, there are always issues of the day – such as … cable cars. On each, I–like most–may have certain initial leanings, but remain open-minded and dare not offer glib one-line positions without becoming far better informed. The cable-car proposal is of considerable importance and the possibility is exciting, if done correctly. I would only come to a view after I see a specific proposal and all the relevant evidence for and against it; however, I would only support a proposal which is low impact, and environmentally and aesthetically sensitive, and that addresses the many well-documented concerns which have been expressed by so many.”
Lorraine Bennett (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers) “I have not seen all the pros and cons for this so I can’t really make a decision on what I am going to do, but, personally? I say ‘Bring it on!’ They generate other businesses, so, in principle, I agree with a cable car, but it must be done with care, forethought and consultation, and to appeal to the tourist that Tasmania attracts we do need to keep our uniqueness.”
Nic Street (Liberal) In the Sunday Mercury (March 17) Street argued that a cable car would “take our capital city to the next level with an amazing new experience” that would “reduce congestion” thus “assisting in preserving the mountain”. Street would fight “every inch of the way” for the cable car. At the Fern Tree forum later in March Street again spoke in support, but noted “there were problems with the current proposal” and added “I think the one thing we can all agree on is that developments like this need to take the community with them and they [the proponents] certainly haven’t.” To Compton on April 17 he said “It is a sensible way to take people off that road and get them to the top of the mountain.”