MWCC Shareholder register
Shareholdings are controlled by people. Their names and the amount of money they have given to the MWCC are revealed behind the faceless faces shown below.
click on a face to see the shareholder's profile
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MWCC's #1 investor: James Cretan
The most controversial shareholder is James Cretan. He owns or effectively controls several hundred thousand MWCC shares (initially 50% of the capital, now down to 20%). He is also the chair of the Tourism Tasmania Board and a member of a closed facebook group set up to "mobilise supporters of the cable car to action".
Shareholding is not improper and there is no suggestion that Cretan has acted with impropriety, but how can a person simultaneously chair Tourism Tasmania and sit on the Premiers Visitor Economy Advisory Council—being paid to offer impartial advice to the state on, say, a cable car and be a major shareholder in a cable car company as well as an active proponent for it, writing that "People like me need to put their money where their mouth is."?
Mr Cretan's influence does not stop there. Under its current plan, the cable car would be built entirely within Wellington Park. Every permit for construction works in the Park and each licence for every business activity in the Park must be agreed to by the Wellington Park Management Trust, and James Cretan appoints the representative for Tourism Tasmania who sits on the Park’s management board. Indeed, he could appoint himself. How can he in good conscience vote or direct a vote at that table?
Mr Cretan sees no conflict in any of this here and here, but just saying so is hardly sufficient. Claiming that "Tourism Tasmania is essentially a Destination marketing organisation [with] no involvement in the State Government consideration of the project" is not credible. The cable car and the Pinnacle Centre would be "Destinations". He may well become "involved" in state government considerations—especially considering that the project is so politically controversial. If the topic came up at the Tourism Tasmania board meeting he would, he says, "absent myself from the discussion". The dynamics of Board leadership suggest that his views would, nonetheless, carry. The proposal is a regular agenda item at Wellington Park Management Trust meetings, but Mr Cretan has said nothing about that potential conflict. Mr Cretan points out that "There are well established processes in place for dealing with potential conflicts of interest in a governance setting." There are, but their are degrees of conflict and this is not a potential conflict, this is glaring. State MP Cassy O'Connor described his interest as "vested". The situation was exacerbated by a statement from Premier Hodgman that grossly misrepresented Cretan's holdings.
Mr Cretan has written that "those I know and work with understand that integrity is one of my core personal values". He should demonstrate that integrity. Mr Cretan should sever the connection between his money and his mouth. He must choose. He can sell his shares or resign from Tourism Tasmania.