MWCC Shareholder register
MWCC 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 a face)
MWCC is a private company, but it is required to maintain up-to-date records with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission of its shareholders, the amount of shares they own and the price paid per share. The ASIC Register is publicly available and MPS and others track shareholding changes. It is legal for companies to invest in companies and so in some cases company names appear instead of individual names, but there are ways of establishing the names of the people who own those companies, too. The spreadsheet below was created in 2018, but a 2019 update is being prepared now.
Read more: The Lukewarm supporters
Read more: The Red Hot supporters
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 is in a key position to influence—if not direct through Tourism Tasmania’s CEO—the Tourism Tasmania representative’s vote on the Wellington Park’s management board. Indeed, he could himself attend. How can he in good conscience 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 creditable. 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.
Mr Cretan’s perceived conflict of interest became the subject of a year-long Integrity Commission investigation which was released in August 2019. The Commission found that Mr Cretan had no perceived or actual conflict of interest.
Not every one is convinced.