Three weeks of hearings into Hobart’s controversial cable car proposal begin at the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal in Hobart on Monday.
The Mount Wellington Cableway Company’s Chris Oldfield says it’s a chance for the project to go before a truly independent tribunal free from the ideological stance of local government politicians.
“Public support has grown over the intervening period due to frustrations that the road has been closed often in recent months due to snow and ice, just when everyone wants to visit the pinnacle,” he said.
“It is a crying shame that when Tasmania desperately needs new tourism attractions to help our economy recover, and locals yearn to break the yokes of Covid that they can’t visit the pinnacle of kunanyi/Mt Wellington because of the long-running delays.”
The cable car goes before the tribunal after Hobart City Council refused its development application last year on 21 grounds including visual amenity.
Since then, the size of its proposed visitor centre has been reduced by more than a third and agreement has apparently been reached on a number of other grounds.
“Discussions between the parties since then have led to the removal of several objections relating to use, traffic, the access road to the base, storm water management and geotechnical land stability,” said the MWCC in a statement released on Sunday afternoon.
Hobart Lord Mayor Anna Reynolds has hit back at Mr Oldfield’s claim that last year’s council vote was biased.
“This was not a subjective or political decision; this was an assessment about the inappropriateness of this proposal based on planning laws,” she said.
“It will be only focused on planning laws in this tribunal as well.”