Image for Bombshell revelations about Cable Car Company and Tourism Tasmania ...

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First published June 31

What is the truth of Head of Tourism Tasmania Mr James Cretan’s investment in the Mount Wellington Cable Car Company ... ?

Richard Flanagan said Here: “I am not suggesting impropriety on the part of Mr Cretan. But it appears to be a conflict of interest for him, for Tourism Tasmania, for the Mt Wellington Trust, and for the government”. 1 He was speaking of the chair of Tourism Tasmania James Cretan’s shareholding in the Mount Wellington Cableway Company (MWCC) - at the Mountain Mayday community event on Sunday 6 May. 

Mr Cretan responded to Richard Flanagan’s suggestion that he may have a conflict of interest in a letter published in the Mercury on Wednesday 9 May.  Mr Cretan stated …

“I made a small investment (equating to a 1.79 per cent shareholding) in MWCC in October 2016. This was declared to the government and the Tourism Tasmania board at the time”. This may be so, but neither the Tourism Tasmania website listing the current Board members details nor the Tourism Tasmania Annual Report 2016-2017 mention Mr Cretan’s interest in the MWCC.

In an email to a member of the public from the Premier on the 16th of May 2018 Will Hodgman wrote …

As a matter of clarity, I am advised that Mr Cretan owns less than 2 per cent of the shares in the MWCC.

Mr Cretan is diligent in following the statutory requirements in reporting disclosures of any pecuniary interests in business or body corporates (Schedule 2, Tourism Tasmania Act 1996) and the Board regularly reviews any disclosure of interests through the declarations process and its internal register.

Why does this matter? 

The response from Mr Cretan to Richard Flanagan’s speech and the response from the Premier Will Hodgman to a community member appear to be entirely inconsistent with the MWCC records held by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

According to ASIC records, at the time Tucre, (the Company through which Mr Cretan invested in MWCC), purchased its 250,000 shares in MWCC on 8/11/2016, Tucre held 12.70% of the 2,460,000 shares issued by the company at that time, and the $312,500 paid for these shares amounted to 51.87% of the total $602,500 invested in the company at that time.

Either way you cut it that is a lot more than “less than 2%”.

Even accounting for Mr Cretan’s shareholding against the most up-to-date ASIC records, As of 1/05/2018 Tucre’s shareholding represents 8.65% of the 2,888,824 shares issued and 24.63% of the total $1,268,530 invested in the company.

Whichever way you look at it there appears to be a significant discrepancy between Mr Cretan’s and Premier Will Hodgman’s statement that he has a ”small 1.79 per cent shareholding in MWCC” and the records held by ASIC.

Disclosure. Nil.

At 11:30 am on Wednesday the 10th of January 2018, the Wellington Park Trust held a special meeting at the request of Minister Peter Gutwein.  This meeting was outside of normal schedule meetings. 

As detailed in the meeting minutes 3, this meeting was in response to …

“Request for comments from the Minister for State Growth on a draft authority for the Mount Wellington Cable Way Company to enter and carry out works in Wellington Park in accordance with the Cable Car (kunanyi/Mt Wellington) Facilitation Act 2017”.

Now consider Item #2 of this meeting.  The item is titled …

‘Disclosure of interests and related party interests in agenda item’

Response: Nil

In attendance was the statutory representative from Tourism Tasmania. As Richard Flanagan stated in his speech, the Tourism Tasmania representatives ‘ultimate boss is James Cretan’. 

Yet, the Premier and the Government continue to ignore the profound wrongness of Mr Cretan’s position and seem to have taken Mr Cretan’s advice without further investigation. This raises questions as to whether Mr Cretan can remain as head of Tourism Tasmania ...

There must be a proper investigation of what Mr Cretan’s position really is ...

Documents attached ...

On 16 May 2018, the Premier wrote ...

From: “The Premier (DPaC)”

Subject: Letter from the Premier Date: 16 May 2018 at 9:20:49 am AEST To: Dear XXXX Thank you for your email regarding Mr Cretan’s chairmanship of the Tourism Tasmania Board. Tourism Tasmania’s role is to generate demand for leisure travel to Tasmania through its domestic and international marketing, and also by supporting improved access to the state for our visitors. Tourism Tasmania has no involvement in the Mount Wellington Cable Car (MWCC) proposal or advising government on this project. As a matter of clarity, I am advised that Mr Cretan owns less than 2 per cent of the shares in the MWCC. Mr Cretan is diligent in following the statutory requirements in reporting disclosures of any pecuniary interests in business or body corporates (Schedule 2, Tourism Tasmania Act 1996) and the Board regularly reviews any disclosure of interests through the declarations process and its internal register. Thank you for sharing your views with me. Hon Will Hodgman MP Premier Minister for Tourism, Hospitality and Events Minister for Parks Minister for Heritage Minister for Trade Level 11 15 Murray Street HOBART TAS 7000 Australia GPO Box 123 HOBART TAS 7001 Australia Ph: +61 3 6165 7650 Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
image image image image Economist John Lawrence did an earlier analysis on Tasfintalk of the cable car prospects … John Lawrence: Cable Car conflicts John Lawrence: Cable Car Hype What the Integrity Commission says ... Refs ... 1 http://www.tasmaniantimes.com.au/index.php/article/cable-car-richard-flanagans-speech-in-full- 2 https://mtwellingtoncablecar.com/#welcome/economy 3 https://www.wellingtonpark.org.au/assets/10_January_2018_minutes_for_website.pdf *Lindsay Tuffin has been a journo since 1969, mainly in Tassie apart from a couple of years wandering around Oz and a few years in Pomland where he edited ‘Buzz’, a magazine dealing with church and social issues (beaten in audit circulation only by Aero Modeller magazine!); and a stint as a Uni chaplain back in Tassie ...