The TCT held a public forum on Tuesday 22 May in Hobart to discuss the natural values of Mt Wellington and why significant development (including a cable car) should not be permitted at the pinnacle or any other sensitive areas of Wellington Park.
The evening was chaired by Margaret Steadman. Guest speakers included Geoff Law, Professor Jamie Kirkpatrick, Peter McGlone and local Fern Tree business owner Matt Kruse. We were heartened to have over 100 people in attendance. The questions and discussion period provided useful facts and suggestions for submissions on the Draft Wellington Park Management Plan, which is due to be released for public comment this month. Many of those present with campaigned against the cable car development and their insights into the issue were very encouraging.
The TCT has a long association with Wellington Park starting back in the late 1960s when we began lobbying for a management plan for the area. The TCT’s early draft management plan was co-opted by the Hobart City Council and resulted in the establishment of the East Wellington Range Management Committee in the 1970s to finalise a Mountain Park management plan.
Again, in the 1990s, the TCT was integral in lobbying for the establishment of the current Wellington Park Management Trust. To date, the TCT has strongly opposed proposals for a cable car to the top of Mt Wellington, a debate which has been a recurring issue since 1905: the idea has been revived over half a dozen times and each time it has been rejected by the general public.
One of the reasons the TCT initiated this public meeting was to build community interest in the ongoing review of the Wellington Park Management Plan.
The Wellington Park Management Trust released a discussion paper for public comment at the end of 2011 and we expect a draft management plan to be released in June this year. The TCT is planning to hold community information sessions and/or kitchen table meetings to assist people with writing submission on the draft plan.
Public comments are the most significant way in which people can influence the future management of Wellington. The TCT was encouraged by the comments received on the 2011 discussion paper, which generally support retention of the status quo in terms of development on and access to Mt Wellington.
Responses (as summarised on the Wellington Park Management Trust website) showed that:
- 63.4% of people either strongly approved or approved of maintaining the prohibition of commercial development outside of the Springs
- 56.8% strongly disapproved or disapproved of allowing for consideration of alternative forms of transport to the pinnacle plus associated commercial development. A range of options, from a cable car to minibuses and four-wheel drives during and following heavy snowfalls were considered
- 83.3% either strongly approved or approved of maintaining the existing snow management access approach
The TCT’s submission is on our website, www.tct.org.au/media/submissions_11.htm
Full details of the submission summary for the Issues Discussion Paper can be found at http://www.wellingtonpark.org.au/management-plan-review/