Alderman Jeff Briscoe, Chairman of the HCC city planning committee today announced that he had submitted a notice of motion to the Hobart City Council to conduct an elector poll over the proposed cable car on Mt Wellington at the same time as the 2018 October local government elections.
The exact words of the poll will be determined by HCC but essentially the question will be along the lines:
Do you agree with the proposed cable car whose route will involve crossing the Organ Pipes of Mount Wellington and with a variety of built structures including a multi-story building on the summit of the Mountain as the terminal?
Alderman Briscoe said that the Mountain is known to many as the people’s mountain and hence the residents of Hobart should have their say in such a development.
Whilst any proposal needs to meet the planning controls, the community view is necessary when considering any discretions that are required.
Whilst details of the proposal are, at best sketchy, the broad concept has been outlined by the developer.
“The Mountain is very special place to many in Hobart. It is the natural recreation place for many to enjoy. The alpine vegetation and topology is unique. Many assertions about public support or otherwise of the private enterprise proposed cable car have been made. An elector poll is one way to determine the public’s view”.
Mt Wellington is a park of the Hobart CIty Council. Last year the Government passed a law to allow land to be compulsory acquired from the Hobart City Council to allow a private company to build a cable car. Just before the announcement of the State Election, the government in secret gave permits to the Cable Car company to commence drillings and other site works.
Alderman Briscoe’s proposal for an elector poll will need to be voted on by the full council to proceed. There will be a cost to council for the poll but as it will be held at the same time as local governments elections the cost will be minimized.
Alderman Briscoe did propose the only other elector poll in Hobart, which was conducted which condemned the planning precedents set by proposed pulp mill in the north of the state. That poll overwhelming was endorsed by the ratepayers of Hobart (by over 80%).