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Mt Wellington cable car backers seek new route up Hobart’s mountain
Plans for a cable car attraction that would climb Hobart’s Mt Wellington have been dealt a blow this week with the owners of the preferred location for the cable car base site at the Cascade Brewery ruling out selling or leasing land for the development.
Leaving from the Cascade Brewery had long been the Mount Wellington Cableway Company’s preferred base for the venture as, among its base options, it was the closest to central Hobart, would have required the fewest pylons and would have taken the cable car over the 800-metre-wide cliff known as the Organ Pipes.
However, Cascade Brewery owner Carlton & United Breweries (CUB) this week released a statement saying that after extensive consultations with the Mount Wellington Cableway Company (MWCC), local residents and various community groups over the past year, is was not satisfied that the proposal has broad community support.
MWCC has previously said the "most optimal alignment from the summit runs east towards South Hobart", making the Brewery site ideal from both logistical and visitor experience perspectives.
Now, unless MWCC can persuade the Tasmanian Government to undertake a compulsory purchase of the site, the company will have to look for a new base location.
Unfortunately for MWCC, other sites will require more pylons to support the cable car ride and are in less scenic locations.
Among other options, a site at Old Farm Road in South Hobart is surrounded by land owned by CUB and would require significant improvements in road access.
The MWCC website has also suggested the Springs in Wellington Park but advises “our study concluded that The Springs route would require too many large towers across the face and on top of the mountain.”
MWCC has looked at starting the cableway at Lenah Valley, as a way to avoid the Organ Pipes, but suggested that was not a feasible option.
Alternatively, the Glenorchy City Council has shown support for having the cable car start from its municipality.
First proposed at the beginning of the 20th century, the current MWCC plan for a cable car has aroused considerable opposition from Indigenous and community groups.
While the Hobart City Council has also opposed the development, the Tasmanian Government is supportive of the plan. Last year legislation was passed in the Tasmanian Parliament to allow the compulsorily acquisition of Council land for the project.
Commenting on options now available to MWCC, Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania Chief Executive Luke Martin said the issue of unsuitable road access to the mountain or a cable car base needed to be dealt with.
Martin told the ABC “ultimately, where they do plant the terminal or the car park for people to access the mountain is a serious infrastructure challenge.”
Martin feels that visitors would want to visit the attraction regardless of where it started from, adding "ultimately it's the mountain, and it's the experience of rising to the mountain and spending more time engaging with the mountain.”
Images: An artist's impression of the proposed cable car up Mount Wellington (top), Hobart's Cascade Brewery flanked by the summit of Mt Wellington (middle) and potential routes for the Mt Wellington cable car project (below, courtesy of MWCC/Google Earth).
15th September 2017 - TASMANIAN GOVERNMENT LAND PURCHASE TO MOVE MT WELLINGTON CABLE CAR PLAN FORWARD
11th December 2016 - MONA REVEALS PLANS FOR RECONCILIATION ART PARK IN HOBART
6th November 2015 - MOUNT WELLINGTON CABLE CAR PLAN MOVES FORWARD
11th April 2015 - TASMANIA DOMINATES QANTAS AUSTRALIAN TOURISM AWARDS
14th November 2014 - PLANS MOVE FORWARD FOR MOUNT WELLINGTON CABLE CAR
23rd August 2014 - TASMANIA LOOKS TO BOOST TOURISM IN ITS NATURAL AREAS
12th March 2010 - CABLE CAR TO ASCEND HOBART’S MOUNT WELLINGTON?
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