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Groom's Blurring of Public and Private Lines on Cable Car

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Tags: Cable Car, kunanyi/Mt Wellington, Planning, Conflict of Interest

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens' Leader 

Public resources are being used to enable the private development of a cable car to the summit of kunanyi/Mt Wellington, in a secretive process being facilitated by the Office of the Coordinator General.

While the Office of the Coordinator General refused to release any detailed information on the cable car in a recent Right to Information request, scant emails released show the Mount Wellington Cableway Company has its own specific email address in the Office of the Coordinator General.

There is something improper and strange about this arrangement.  A private development with its own contact details in a government agency.

When questioned on the Liberals' plan to compulsorily acquire the summit of kunanyi/Mt Wellington, it was revealed this special purpose email has been used exclusively in the an agency of government's dealings with the proponent.

Perplexingly, the Minister kept claiming that the new legislation, yet to be tabled, was being used to pursue normal planning processes.

This is bizarre given that normal planning processes don't require special legislation enabling the government to acquire land for a specific development.

In fact, the only reason for introducing such legislation is because without it, under normal circumstances, the project may not proceed.

It's a matter of public record that the cable car proponent has worked on Mr Groom’s election campaign.  The Minister and the proponent clearly have a close working relationship, with public resources dedicated towards facilitating the development.

If this is a “normal” process, then there is something significantly wrong with the procedures of this Government.