Mountain tourism challenge
TOURISM spokesman Luke Martin’s appeal for the mountain cable car to go ahead in order to reduce chaos on the mountain is rather illogical, unless he is talking about restricting access to the pinnacle via the mountain road. Facilitating an additional way to get up there will add to stresses at the summit, not reduce them. I think he is pointing to a taboo subject — whether or not the mountain road is likely to be eventually closed off or estricted subsequent to a cable car proceeding. Political transparency dictates it should be debated now, rather than after the horse has bolted. For now, that subject is not being talked about because I think most Hobartians would still want to be able to drive up there in the future. Meanwhile, restricting motor vehicle access would reduce traffic chaos, but would not rid the mountain of the twin scars — the road plus a cableway.
No free ride
THE Tourism Industry Council’s Luke Martin thinks we need to wake up and accept sustainability benefits of a cable car on kunanyi/ Mt Wellington ( Mercury, September 12). If only it was that simple. Just because we can see the Telstra tower and visitor lookout from Hobart doesn’t mean we should accept another half a dozen pylons and cable cars running up the mountainside. My recollection is that when the cable car reared its ugly head over 30 years ago, a feasibility study suggested it would only be viable if cars were restricted. It is free and should remain so. I suspect most locals might hand over $30-40 for a ride once; they will then continue to drive up the mountain. The cable car will not bring extra tourists. If you want to ride a cable car there are plenty of them around Australia and the world. Visitors may spend more money in Hobart but most is money that would have been spent in other regions of the state. While the focus has shifted (read Mona) in recent times we still rely on our natural beauty and built heritage to attract the majority of our visitors. Let’s not kill the goose that laid the golden egg by adopting a cargo cult mentality every time the cable car rears its ugly head every decade or so.
Say what you mean
I WISH the opponents of the cable car would have the courage of their convictions and just stand up and say they don’t want the project. Instead, they try to couch the argument in altruistic sentiment that they are fighting for the greater good, usually through adopting scare tactics, obfuscation and misleading statements. The cable car proposal will not be near any drinking water catchments. It’s in the same watershed as the existing road and South Hobart tip. There will not be any clearway cut through the alpine environment. The proponents have said the construction will be point based at the pylon sites only and be helicopter supported to move men, machinery and materials. The land is not being privatised, but will be government owned in perpetuity. The project will not be a white elephant, and has had its economic assumptions scrutinised by a senior university professor in economics who has endorsed the business case as sound and built on firm principles. The submissions against the proposed A new way to have your say themercury.com.au readers have a new way to have their say. It’s free to use, just register and have your say. For more details and to register, visit the website. legislation are not a statistically relevant number when weighing the case of for vs against. They represent a vocal minority.
WE are incredibly lucky to have such a beautiful mountain on our doorsteps. The mountain with all its different moods is woven into the cultural fabric of our lives. It is inspiring to look at, invigorating to experience up close and precious because it is unspoilt. The cable car will compromise the integrity of what makes this place unique. A slick campaign is being run promoting apparent benefits. The latest is sustainability of the access road. What if we closed the road to motorised public access and ran affordable small bus services seven days a week? Even a free bus service would be cheaper and more sustainable than the industrialised enterprise being proposed. This is our mountain and it will not be given up to those eager for profit.
IT appears the Tourism Industry Council has decided to enter the heady world of sustainable transport planning – focussing on kunanyi/Mt Wellington ( Mercury, September 12). A “cable car” concept seems to have now morphed into a “cableway” (no, not a “highway”). Perhaps the real problem the TIC has with access to the mountain is that it is currently a free way, definitely un$u$tainable.
Writers in need
I JOINED the Tasmanian Writers Centre a couple of years ago as a person new to writing. They have showed me so many tips and tricks to writing a book. The staff are so helpful and last year I was able to publish my first book. We need to keep it going to help others on their journey. Please.
Mother and father
IF you have ever loved a child I urge you to vote No because every child deserves the right to the expectation of a loving, married mother and father.
Kindness the answer
WE teach our kids that there is nothing more important than being kind. Kindness means respecting the human rights and dignity of everyone. How kind is it to say to LGBTI people, ‘I like you and have no problem with you, but I don’t think you should have the same human rights as me’? As a straight woman raising kids in a marriage, I am voting Yes and am talking to my kids about why it matters.
THE postal vote’s claim to anonymity fails the first hurdle. Whether the Yes or No box has been marked is easily discernible through the envelope. To remedy, fold forward the top third of the form forward to provide an extra layer between the form and the outside of the envelope. But doesn’t this invalidate the entire postal vote process?