More red tape preventing Mt Wellington decision

In Attractions, Government, National Headlines, Tasmania

From the Hobart Mercury, 27th May 2014

HOBART City Council has ­rejected a plan to list what the cable car developers need to tick off on before the council can allow a development application to be lodged.

And Alderman Eva Ruzicka has told proponents to “put up or shut up’’ over the development on Mt Wellington.

Aldermen last night voted 5-5 – meaning a no vote – on a motion outlining what the criteria the developer needed to meet, for example, cost estimates, plans, associated infrastructure and preliminary environment and social impact assessments.

The information would be the minimum needed before the council granted “owner consent’’ for any development on the land.

The unusual motion came after pressure grew on the council to show in-principle support for the cableway, estimated to be worth $37 million.

Ald Ruzicka foreshadowed an alternative motion that later won six votes to four – to take no action and consider a development application as it would for any other project.

She said the council had no power to consider any development not consistent with the Wellington Park Management Plan.

“We can pass an amended motion or … take no further action, then it’s a put-up or shut-up debate,’’ Ald Ruzicka said.

Cable car proponent Adrian Bold, who was at the meeting, said he would not comment before referring to his board.

Mr Bold last week described a decision by the council’s special joint committee to support giving the proponents a recommended list of criteria as an “exciting step forward’’.

Ald Sue Hickey suggested the council’s general manager and a high-level delegation meet the proponents.

“It goes ahead or it gets killed by public opinion, let’s just [do it],’’ Ald Hickey said.

Lord Mayor Damon ­Thomas said the vote was the will of the council.

“Obviously there will be people disappointed, and there will be people pleased by the decision,’’ Ald Thomas said.

Mr Bold’s preferred route is from Cascade Brewery to the summit of Mt Wellington.

As pressure has mounted on Hobart to support the project, the Glenorchy City Council has offered its support to move the start from South Hobart to Tolosa Park.

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