Tuesday 12 November 2013

Hansard of the Legislative Council





Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, a small contribution in support of this process and the development that is taking place. Some people would realise I grew up on Fern Tree, on Mount Wellington. Let me tell you it was heaven.

Mr Mulder - A slippery slope it was indeed.

Mr FINCH - I am still on the slippery slope, but that is another story. It was really a magical place. I know Mount Wellington left, right and centre, back to front. I remember at playtime it was a walk up to the top, up through the Zigzag Track, up past The Springs hotel, stopping at the shop, of course, to buy our fructose -

Members laughing.

Mr FINCH - To energise us to get to the top of mountain. We went up through snow and wind and rain and sunshine. It is quite a magical place. I often reflect on that time and this talk of development on the mountain. I was only commenting yesterday on the use of the word 'pristine'. We use the word 'pristine' and people would say that Mount Wellington is pristine, and we must keep it as it is. How can it be pristine with the development that has taken place up through Fern Tree? The roads, the scar, what was it, Ogilvie's -

Mr Valentine - Ogilvie's Scar.

Mr FINCH - Ogilvie's Scar across the mountain. But that served a great purpose during the Depression - it gave work to Tasmanians building the road up there. Then of course there was the advent of television, and television towers were put on the mountain for all to see. To say we want to leave it at that denies us the opportunity to develop this icon for tourism. I have just compared notes with the member for Pembroke. In our report we talked about tourism and we made a recommendation.

I do not want to be too critical of the government, but in the response to our report on tourism they covered four recommendations only, rather than the 23 recommendations we made. Our report noted, from what we observed, and the tourism people we spoke to, the opportunity for a cable car - it was a topic of conversation. I know Adrian Bold is probably looking for this opportunity to progress his development. We made the recommendation in our report, and I will read it:

The Tasmanian government actively pursues the appropriate development of a Mount Wellington cable car.

That was our signal, from our investigations, to the government. That is what the reports are all about - that is what we are doing. We are giving them a signal as to where we think they should be focusing their attention. The government has overlooked that - it has missed that opportunity. The reply was only to four recommendations, which did not include this conversation about a cable car. As someone who loves the mountain and loves what it means to Hobart, and has spent a lot of time up on the mountain, I cannot believe that we have not developed it, and that we have been so slow in recognising that it is one of the great views of the world.

I often think about Rio de Janeiro and that beautiful view with the - is it a Madonna that is on that mountain? That is a great view. I put this a very close second. Mount Wellington's view is a very close second to that view in respect of capturing something for tourism - for holding tourists in Hobart, to have an extra day here to do something. It builds on our tourism opportunities. I am surprised that it has not been taken up prior to this. I mentioned The Springs Hotel. That burnt down in 1967, yet nothing has gone in there to replace it. There it was - a development with accommodation, with a beautiful dining room, with the opportunity for people to have a stopover, grab a cup of tea or a coffee. To have not replaced that is really short-sighted in respect of providing facilities that tourists require and - as someone mentioned earlier - for locals too. I am a local and I would love to see us use the mountain more and take the opportunity to capitalise on what we have. I will not go on, but I did want to highlight that -

Mrs Hiscutt - Why was the pub not rebuilt? Was it planning problems or money problems?

Mr FINCH - That is a question I do not have the answer to, but certainly people should have appreciated that the facility should be replaced where it was before, to cater for people who want to do the tourism thing - who want to do the Tasmanian thing on the mountain. I support this process, Mr President.