Tourist drawcard mountain’s facilities under review

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The merits of a cable car to the summit of Hobart’s rugged mountain will be canvassed during a review of the tourist hotspot’s management.

More than 410,000 people visit kunanyi/Mt Wellington annually, making it the top natural attraction in Tasmania.

But a long-term vision for the landmark is lacking, according to the state government which on Thursday announced the “holistic” review.

Business, Industry and Resources Minister Eric Abetz said it was clear land management, transport options, visitor infrastructure and cultural experiences were not up to standard.

Eric Abetz (file image)Eric Abetz (file image)

Eric Abetz says the review will cover all options. (Ethan James/AAP PHOTOS)

Mr Abetz denied suggestions the review was a pathway to getting a cable car across the line, but said all views would be put on the table.

“Sure the cable car will be discussed in consultations … by those that support it, but those that oppose it,” he told reporters.

“We will … look at all the submissions (and) come to a landing on some of these issues.”

There have been several contentious proposals for cable cars to the mountain’s 1271m summit – the most recent was knocked back in 2022 despite appeals by the proponent.

The state government supports a cable car in principle, with Premier Jeremy Rockliff in early 2023 saying he would seek advice about developing a pathway to support development.

The Mount Wellington Cableway Company (MWCC), which was behind the 2022 knocked-back proposal, welcomed the review announcement.

“MWCC has been advocating for (this),” the company said.

“We have little doubt that the review findings will ultimately reflect our own learnings from the extensive consultation and work we have undertaken over the last 10 years.”

A rally against the cable car plan in 2018 (file image)A rally against the cable car plan in 2018 (file image)

Previous plans to build a cable car were met with community opposition. (Ethan James/AAP PHOTOS)

MWCC said it was concerned about the likely 12-month time frame of the review, which will start consultation in the second half of 2024.

“Much of the information and data is already generally available and surely this time frame can be tightened up if this project is the priority that government claims,” it said.

The review, to be led by the department of state growth in consultation with Tourism Tasmania and key stakeholders, will also look at cultural, heritage and environment values.

Mr Abetz said the island state’s Aboriginal communities would be consulted.

Hobart’s lord mayor and major tourism bodies have backed the review.

“We know we need to look at a sustainable transport solution, but also understand how we’re going to pay for that,” Destination Southern Tasmania chief executive Alex Heroys said.

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