Nepotism and farce alive and well in Rockliff’s cable car crusade
Despite a comprehensive, independent rejection of the kunanyi cable car proponent’s self-declared ‘best effort’, a new Mount Wellington Cableway Company chair has been appointed to pursue the project once Premier Rockliff decides how to sideline proper process and fast-track an approval for the detested, non-compliant development.
The new chair of the company has been, until very recently, ‘Principal Advisor’ in Premier Rockliff’s office, presumably involved in delivering the Premier’s requested advice on ‘developing a pathway to support’[i] the approval of the development.
Nala Mansell, campaigner for The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre condemned the Premier’s lifeline to the project, not least after he this week claimed in his State of the State Address to be ‘working hard’ to listen and learn from Aboriginal people.
“This is a dead-end project that has failed repeated tests,” Ms Mansell said. “We have been clear about the impact it would have on our heritage and yet Premier Rockliff wants to ride roughshod over our interests, trash our heritage and push on with a new, dodgy approval.”
“This is happening during a review of the Aboriginal Heritage Act, legislation the Government has acknowledged ‘does not provide effective mechanisms for protection’. This is a farce that treats Aboriginal people, our heritage and his own Government’s review with contempt.
Residents Opposed to the Cable Car highlighted the fact that in the Hobart City Council’s consultation process, 72% of a massive 16,000+ representations opposed the development.
“This is a toxic proposal that has been repeatedly condemned by experts, adjudicators and the community. The planning tribunal accepted that it would not deliver economic or community benefits and it failed to meet environmental, scenic, amenity and geo-heritage requirements.”
“This appointment, straight out of the Premier’s office, looks shonky. Has the new chair been working on Premier Rockliff’s ‘advice’?
“A Premier who promised to govern with ‘heart’ looks set to sideline proper process, be complicit in nepotism and alienate a massive segment of the community that loves kunanyi and appreciates transparency and accountability in Government. This is the Tamar Valley pulp mill all over again, and look at how that worked out – for the project, Gunns and Premier Paul Lennon, who left office with a 17% approval rating.”
[i] State of the State Address 2023
Nala Mansell, Campaign Coordinator, TAC and Vica Bayley, Residents Opposed to the Cable Car