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Proposed Mount Wellington Cable Car encounters opposition from Indigenous groups

Proposed Mount Wellington Cable Car encounters opposition from Indigenous groups
March 18, 2013

The Tasmanian Aboriginal community has vowed to fight a proposal for a cable car to ascend Hobart's Mount Wellington.

Known as 'kunanyi' by Tasmania's Aboriginal community, the peak is regarded as a sacred site by the indigenous population.

First proposed by the Tasmania Liberal Party prior to the 2010 Tasmanian state election, the plan was backed by Government with a $200,000 feasibility study.

However, speaking last week at an announcement of a new indigenous naming policy for important regions and landmarks, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Chief Executive Heather Sculthorpe said the importance of the mountain was underestimated by many.

Sculthorpe explained "cable cars are not something that is going to happen on the mountain.

"Anyone could just stand in the city and on the wharf look up and know that this has got a long history.

"People have only got to open their minds to it to, to be able to see that throughout such an ancient history this mountain had such a deep and varied connotations for the people that once were here and are still here."

Tasmanian Aboriginal Affairs Minister Cassy O'Connor said development on the mountain would be inappropriate, adding "the mountain is a very spiritual place and I am not the only person that holds the view that a cable car across the face of this mountain would be a sacrilege.

"We don't need obtrusive development on what is a very spiritual place."

The Tasmanian Government has indicated that it will look carefully at any development proposal for the mountain.

Prior to the 2010 election, Labor candidate Madeline Ogilvie put forward a proposal for a funicular or incline to the top of Mount Wellington.


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