Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


Friends of Mt Wellington Unite


This week a group formed to kickstart a campaign to reaffirm the natural values of Mt Wellington and oppose the campaign to build a cable car.

The group is united under the name ‘Respect the Mountain’, and plans to encourage public opposition to inappropriate development on Mt Wellington outside The Springs precinct.

Earlier on Tasmanian Times, Geoff Law: What Mt Wellington really needs

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Bruce Wilson (Respect The Mountain)

    September 5, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Respect The Mountain now has a Facebook page you can visit and ‘Like’: https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Respect-the-Mountain/443385422375996

    If you have images of Mt Wellington you’d like to share, please do.

    Note that the South Hobart and Lenah Valley communities now have their own particular mountain battle – the move by Cascade Brewery (now under control of multinational giant SABMiller) to sell off parcels of land on the fringe of Wellington Park. See their website for further details: http://savecascadesbush.org/

    A negotiated outcome that suits all parties is a possibility, but it’s early days.

  2. Doug Nichols

    September 5, 2012 at 1:53 am

    When considering a proposal to build some form of commercial premises on the pinnacle, careful consideration needs to be given to what will be lost as a result, as well as what we might gain. What we have there now is somewhere that is “away from civilisation”, away from commerce, the end of the road, somewhere where you are left to your own devices. And yet you can drive there from the city centre in less than 30 minutes and it is a stunning place to visit. Isn’t it one of the state’s top tourist destinations? Maybe that’s because people like it the way it is.

    With enough care it might be possible to build a “suitably camouflaged coffee shop” as per #5 and not change (by too much) the semi-remote feeling that exists there now (actually, I doubt it). Any bigger than that and the pinnacle would become all about what has been put there and not about the place itself. I would *strongly* oppose that.

  3. Bazzabee

    September 4, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Bazzabee is my real name my parents had a sense of humour.

    Or I could use a non de plume how about Peter Newman or Carol Smythe Groonveltd you choose I’m beastly careless what you call me.

  4. Bruce Wilson

    September 4, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    #10, Bezzabee (I wish you’d use your real name), anyone proposing a development must make their case for it. The draft plan says that certain KINDS of things are permitted, or allow discretion on the part of the Trust. But a good positive argument is required from any proponent before a development can be approved. The Liberals’ want to remove that discretionary power from the Trust, so they seem to agree with you that so long as formal requirements are met, then a good argument for the value of the development is not necessary.

    We think that developments never work with a blank canvas – there is always something there of value beforehand. And in this case, the value of what is there is very high, according to public opinion over the years (both local and visitor opinion). This means that there should be a very good reason, a very strong argument, before the value that is already there is affected by a new development. This is not being arbitrary, it is being principled.

    You’re right about one thing – it’s clear that there is no good reason for a cable car, so we oppose a cable car. On the other hand, there may be good arguments for improving visitor facilities at the pinnacle. So I don’t think we’re being either dogmatic or narrow-minded.

  5. Bazzabee

    September 3, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    #8 No, that’s not how you develop and argument it is not for me or for anyone else to do as you suggest the onus lies with you and your group not those questioning you and your motives.

    Your group is on the public record as saying that you won’t oppose ‘appropriate development” I didn’t use the word appropriate you did.

    As for abuse how on earth can you suggest that there was ‘abuse’ asking a question isn’t abuse if it were then all politics would be abusive as in fact would most conversation as both are based on questions the giving and the receiving of information.

    From your use of the word appropriate it seemed obvious at least to me that you had given consideration to what would and would not be appropriate in advance and for that I was approving as it seemed to be a change in attitude and even possibly in behaviour for a conservation group.

    However, it seems from #8 that you and I assume your group had no idea at all what was, is or might be appropriate? But I will lay a pound to a penny you have already decided what is inappropriate? So why don’t you now work backwards and tell us what is inappropriate?

    Or is it as has been so often in the past that no argument will be “good enough argument for ‘damaging’ the mountain”.

  6. TV Resident

    September 3, 2012 at 9:16 pm

    8… I wouldn’t trust any greedy developer with the development of something as special as Mt Wellington. The only thing most developers respect is ‘how much they can make out of it financially’ and nothing more. There are so many places in Tasmania already that a lot of folk can’t afford to visit any more because of the development and the cost incurred for that visit, let alone being able to afford to have any kind of a holiday in any of these places.

  7. Bruce Wilson (Respect the Mountain)

    September 3, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    Inappropriate development is development that does not have a good enough argument for damaging the mountain. Naturally it would be easy to oppose ALL development, as the pro-development arguments could be routinely ignored. But we have a road and buildings already, and we can’t ignore them, though we can hope that in time they are removed. And there is an approved development at The Springs – we aren’t opposing that.

    So rather than abuse us because we can’t tell you in advance what is ‘appropriate’, why not give some thought as to what a GOOD argument for developing the mountain away from The Springs might look like? Something like “because lots of people want it” is never a good argument for anything, it’s just populist politics.

  8. Doug Nichols

    September 2, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    #6, if a “sensitively designed — and suitably camouflaged — coffee shop” (as per #5) is not enough and the “economic reality” you mention demands that something bigger be put on the summit, then the appropriate course of action is to leave the place as it is.

    I put it to you that the money that would have to be spent on a cable car would require considerably more than just a coffee shop to exist at the summit to cater for all the people who would have to use the cable car in order to make it commercially viable.

    Prove me wrong with a definite proposal and I might reconsider. But I will take some convincing as my starting position is agreement with #3.

  9. Nathan Carswell

    September 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Spot on #2. There is clear reason (for those willing to listen with an open mind) why a cable car is a far more respectful solution for our mountain than the road which condemns our pinnacle for a carpark.

    Well said #3. I think ‘Respect the Mountain’ is more about resisting change than anything else. Complete farce. Thank god this group didn’t form to save a particular Berridale peninsular from MONA.

    #5 Clearly has no idea of economic reality.

  10. bob hawkins

    September 1, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    Spot on, #1. In economic terms, a chairlift or its equivalent would never be viable. But that won’t stop our rotten rulers, of either colour, from giving the go-ahead to a slick developer who thought he could cream off a few millions for himself as he put into motion a project doomed to unavoidable failure. Sydney, with millions of residents and visitors, failed miserably with its monorail. Even a hundred-bucks-a-trip ticket wouldn’t come anywhere near to making a Mt Wellington chairlift pay. Let’s simply settle for a sensitively designed — and suitably camouflaged — coffee shop to warm the bones of those who choose to drive or walk up Hobart’s beautiful, more often than not, bitterly wind-swept crowning glory.

  11. bazzabee

    September 1, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    #3 The Mountain hasn’t been natural since Darwin climbed it.

    Unless some of the readers haven’t noticed it has a road, observation decks, and a large telecommunications tower.

    At the half way pony it has man made walking tracks,picnic huts and the remnants of what was once a large hotel.

    While lower still it has some very expensive homes. Natural, pristine I don’t think so certainly not for the last one hundred years.

  12. TV Resident

    August 31, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    It seems that nothing natural can be left as is while there are greedy developers just waiting to get their mitts on it. Then greedy corporations control it and wonder why the locals don’t go back. Before long it just becomes a built up money making enterprise that no one can afford to visit or even wants to visit. It just becomes like anywhere else, overdeveloped and expensive.

  13. bazzabee

    August 30, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    ‘Respect the Mountain’, and plans to encourage public opposition to inappropriate development on Mt Wellington’

    Can we therefore assume that the group will agree to and support of appropriate development? If so to save a lot of time and necessary rancor not to say further harmful splits in our already fractured community could the group please advice what they see as constituting appropriate development?

  14. don bentley

    August 30, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    “Because it’s there”, the famous words spoken by George Mallory in 1924 when was asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, have a resonance today when we view our own beautiful Mt Wellington.
    But they are not necessarily spoken by people who love mountains, and love one mountain in particular. They are spoken by developers uttering the same mantra as those who want to reclaim marshland or tear down forests in the name of conversion to plantation or paddock.
    Why don’t we leave Mt Wellington as it is: simply because it’s there in its largely natural state.
    The radio tower is enough to remind us of the hand of man, and the hand of “progress”.

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