Cable car proponent, Adrian Bold, is living proof that any would-be developer in Tasmania with a half-baked idea can expect to receive tangible, taxpayer-funded assistance from Liberal State and Federal governments, Greens’ Member for Denison, Cassy O’Connor MP said today.

“The Tasmanian Major Projects Approval Agency was set up to help major investors in Tasmania to negotiate Commonwealth legislation and regulations, but Mr Bold said today they would be instigating negotiations between all levels of government and the Wellington Park Trust. Is that appropriate?” Ms O’Connor queried. [1]

“The Agency apparently cost $2.7 million to establish and its online Agency Overview states that it will service projects that attract investments of $50 million or more. On radio this morning, Mr Bold stated that the cable car would cost less than the Myer redevelopment which is quoted at $14 million.” [2]

“What’s going on? Is this a case of special help for mates? It is well known that Mr Bold and State Growth Minister, Matthew Groom, are friends. Has Mr Groom enabled special support for his friend’s divisive proposal?”

“To date, while Mr Bold has done a lot of talking, no development application, no business case and no firm proposal have been put before any planning authority or the people. Why is a government agency oiling the wheels for this particular proposal?”

“So far, it’s all talk, just an idea and a whole lot of slick graphics. And yet, it has secured support from the Liberals in government at taxpayer expense.”

“Mr Bold’s claim that no taxpayer funds are going into the project is quite simply untrue, when it is a $2.7mil Australian government agency working on his behalf.”

“There are many, many Tasmanians who feel strongly about protecting the mountain. They were extremely disappointed that the Wellington Park Trust announced last week it supports extending the development boundary on the pinnacle, despite the huge number of objections lodged with the Trust against the proposed cable car.”

“Mr Bold’s plan to effectively privatise for profit the pinnacle of the peoples’ mountain demonstrably does not have a social license and still it is being enabled by the Liberals in government.”

“He seems to be living proof that any would-be developer with a half-baked idea can expect to receive tangible, taxpayer-funded assistance from Liberal Governments.”

“State Growth Minister, Matthew Groom, also needs to explain what role, if any, he has played in smoothing the way for his friend, Adrian Bold,” Ms O’Connor said.

References:

[1] ABC Local Radio Statewide Mornings program, 12 November 2014;
[2] ibid
Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Member for Denison