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'Open For Business' Ensures Cable Car Proponent's Easy Ride

4 Nov 2015

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Member for Denison

The gazettal today of a boundary extension to the development zone on kunanyi/Mt Wellington is proof that 'open for business' means private developers can be assured they will be given ready access to public assets under this Liberal Government.

The Wellington Park Management Trust has ignored the vast bulk of 551 representations made to it in response to the plan to extend the Pinnacle Specific Area on the mountain's summit, to enable a cable car development.  This was confirmed in a damning critique of the Trust's processes by the independent Tasmanian Planning Commission.

The Trust gave a private developer a number of hearings, but at no time spoke to any representor who was against the proposed cable car and the Chair of the Trust admitted in the TPC hearings that she had not read submissions critical of the Trust's processes and decision making.

In an extraordinary admission, the Trust's Chair, Dr Christine Mucha, also made it clear in the TPC hearing that the change to the boundary was at the behest of the cable car proponent.

The boundary change gazetted today increases the development zone on the pinnacle by 1.1 hectare and is exactly what was asked for by the cable car proponent.

The Trust also went to the trouble of getting Solicitor General's advice to be sure it didn't have to give reasons for initiating the boundary change.  It is important to remember that the Trust is a publicly funded body with statutory responsibility for managing a public asset.

Today is a sorry day for good process and public participation in development assessments.

The whole saga has the whiff of political involvement about it.  Why else would the Trust so doggedly pursue a private developer's agenda and ignore other interested parties including the Hobart City Council and members of the public?

This is yet another example of public assets becoming the playthings of private developers in the new, aggressively 'open for business' Tasmania under the Liberals.