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


‘They do not allow construction of high rise buildings in their cities’ historic heart …’

*Pic: An anonymous architect’s portrayal of the scale of the hotel …

Pic: Digital image of Fragrance Group’s proposed hotel at 28-30 Davey St, Hobart.

First published May 6

Flanagan hits out at skyscrapers …

Rome, Paris, Amsterdam, and Barcelona, have one thing in common. They do not allow the construction of high rise buildings in their cities’ historic heart. No one can argue their tourism or name has suffered in consequence.

And as they have a history we have a history; as they have a culture we have a culture, and it is for us to honour these things, to act as guardians of our world, and to create a new world that draws and builds on them.

There is a square mile of old Hobart — Battery Point, Salamanca, the wharves, South, West, and North Hobart, the Glebe, and the city centre — that forms Australia’s only remaining historic city.

The development that has occurred, whether good or bad, has taken place within the human scale of our old city. The still remarkable nineteenth-century streetscapes remain, and a medium height, urban and urbane city, remarkable and much loved, has arisen.

In a world of ever more, ever larger megacities, Hobart’s charms become increasingly unique, valuable, and, for those business minded, profitable. As Melbourne and Sydney hurtle towards an increasingly difficult high-rise future, Hobart’s competitive advantage grows.

There are some fine examples of recent remarkable commercial developments that enhance our city, from the Macq1 Hotel opposite the Art School — already receiving international praise even before opening — to the recently approved “super green” 30-apartment complex in Bathurst St, which developers claim will be the world’s first carbon-positive apartment building.

But with the proposals by the Singaporean company, Fragrance Group, to build two skyscrapers in Hobart we are confronted with something unprecedented in the history of Hobart.

These buildings come out of Singapore culture — the buildings you get on a tiny island crowded with many people. They do not come out of Tasmanian culture. Their immense height and bulk do not respect or compliment a cityscape where the tallest building is 14 storeys.

The proposed buildings — in the few notional images we have been allowed to see — are not iconic buildings, but stock standard corporate towers like thousands of others elsewhere, from Las Vegas to Singapore to the Gold Coast, blinged-up kitsch. They are best described as Singapore by the sea.

Unremarkable, unfriendly, and ugly, they show no respect for our city. Much of the waterfront will be thrown in shade. Erratic wind patterns will become the norm in our city’s most popular district.

Yet even if the designs were brilliant, even if Renzo Piano or Norman Foster were the architects, it would not overcome the fundamental problem: they are not the scale of our city. They are out of all proportion to any other building in Hobart.

Our future great buildings need to be of our city, not hostile to it, developed in imaginative, contemporary and dynamic ways that make our world richer and our lives better. The Fragrance high rises do none of these things.

And that is why we face with these high-rise buildings not simply the choice of approving them or not. We face a much larger, more fundamental choice about what city we wish to live in, a medium rise city or a high-rise city.

It is the choice between building a 21st century city drawing on all that is best and unique about our world, or replacing it with a pitiful clone of what is ubiquitous everywhere else.

Because if these high rises are built, an unstoppable precedent is set, and more high rises will inevitably follow.

Now is the moment we decide what sort of city we want to live in; when we decide whether we want a city on the European model, with medium-rise buildings, or whether we want to live in a sad and broken town where the scale and amenity of our city is destroyed, and where the distinct nature of the old town will have begun to crumble, leaving the waterfront looking like a mouth of meths-rotted teeth.

There are further problems with these proposals, not the least being that even at this stage the public is not being told the truth about them.

While the media has, for example, been told the massive Collins St high rise will be 75 metres high, internal Council documents reveal it to be 83 metres high, and 92.3 metres high to its tip, 30 metres higher than the Tasman Bridge.

The Davey Street proposal, at 120 metres high (47 metres higher than Tasmania’s tallest building, the 73 metre, 14 storey casino), has been revised from 40 storeys to 41 storeys.

What else haven’t we been told?

Well, this for one.

According to the Straits Times of 26 April 2017, Koh Wee Meng, the Singaporean founder and owner of Fragrance Group, was recently fined $12,000 “after constructing a wall to fence off his Toh Crescent property without planning permission.” The fine itself was unusual, given “Koh could have been fined up to $200,000.”

The two-tier wall surrounding Koh Wee Meng’s house that sits at the junction of Toh Crescent and Toh Avenue. Straits Times PHOTO: FELINE LIM. HERE: Tycoon Koh Wee Meng fined for putting up wall at home.

Will Koh Wee Meng show more respect for Tasmanian planning laws here than he does in his home of Singapore?

And what happens if the high rises are approved but Fragrance Group chooses to make changes never approved and simply cop fines?

Stopping these high-rise horrors won’t be easy. Koh Wee Meng is one of Singapore’s richest men, a major Asian developer, powerful and influential.

He has recruited as his Tasmanian public relations spokesperson, Tony Harrison. A tough streetfighter, Harrison first made his name as a spinner for Robin Gray, later for his work for Gunns, and made headlines for his involvement with the shadowy ‘Tasmanians for a Better Future’ group that in 2006 ran a highly controversial campaign at the height of the pulp mill controversy.

Yet what is best and most beautiful in our city exists because Hobartians stood up for it again and again in the past against such money and power.

This folly is up there with so many other destructive delusions we have stood firm against over generations: the demolition of Battery Point and Salamanca, the destruction of North Hobart, the flyovers along Davey Street, Oceanport.

Each generation should make its mark. Our challenge is to make it well, and not as an act of vandalism.

On Monday night alderman will vote on whether to grant landlord approval for Fragrance Group to use Council land associated with their massive Collins St high rise. If you care about our city’s future, ring your aldermen and tell them not to grant this approval. It is the first chance we have to tell developers what we wish our city to be — and not to be.

It’s the moment we decide whether we want to create a city that is celebrated around the world, or whether we make one that bears the scars of other places, its old city a broken mouth dominated by a handful of oversize buildings and the dust that blows in the shadows between them.

*Richard Flanagan, above, a writer, won the 2014 Man Booker Prize. He lives in Hobart and is one of the finest authors of his generation …

From Facebook here

change.org: Sign a Petition Here

Examiner: TICT releases infrastructure wishlist

Mercury: New state planning laws a disruptive attack on communities

Mercury: Essie Davis says Hobart will be sad and broken with skyscrapers

Cassy O’Connor: Hobart City Council Needs to Reject Inappropriate, Ugly Skyscrapers

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times …

Gutwein’s wrecking ball over land use planning continues

First Day: The Future of Hobart … ? Architects’ scribblings found in a dumpster …

EARLIER in Mercury …

Mercury: $250m hotel developments to change Hobart skyline TWO hotels that will change the Hobart skyline are planned by the Singaporean group Fragrance …

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



    June 3, 2017 at 2:54 am


  2. raymond langford

    June 3, 2017 at 2:34 am

    Richard you have a job I don’t that is what these buildings will create jobs for Tasmanians.

  3. Barney Rubble

    May 13, 2017 at 12:02 am

    The urban sprawl of Hobart has already reached its limits. The only solution now for Hobart and into the future is vertical development. Traffic constraints also dictate that further outer urban development is not feasible. If the city of Hobart is to continue to grow as is needed in the 21st century then old boundaries such as height restrictions needs to be removed.

    For the sake of our children and grand children we must not stifle growth in Hobart any longer. Time a few old fashioned campaigners sat back down and let the current generation take over the future of Hobart as its their future in jeopardy.

    Just build it……

  4. John Latham

    May 10, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Pete Godfrey:
    Allow me to splurge (8) A Character Plan for the State ( I prefer to say these days, the Little Southern Archipelago) – https://www.slideshare.net/montejohnlatham/heritage-vision?related=7

  5. John Latham

    May 10, 2017 at 12:51 pm

    I agree, Pete Godfrey on 10/05/17 at 11:14 AM. There is one point to build in SOMEHOW:
    Public, social, citizen and political will and along with economy, taste, resources, technology, invention and keen developer pragmatics all are prone to a continuum of change.

    Once built we live with a building but renovate at will. Same can apply to town urban-architectural documentation; ie. town plan – renovate it at will.

    There is that ‘Catch 22’.
    So we wind on down the road daubing our place in accord with passion fights, splurges, pub arguments, town plan reviews, philistinic pearls before swine politician people, sexually confused benefactors, powder puffed bedroom persuaders and valuable smart on the ball social politic deft operator celebrated achievements – thereby in conjunction with the oft forgotten primary architecture (the countryside that we modify & renovate) we have a warped truth continuous unfolding of our city party that is what Hobart and any city (in context) is.
    The identity, motive and commercial protocol of any building colour it more strongly than its facade finishes, siting and size (or ‘scale’ as some haze it).

  6. Chris Harries

    May 9, 2017 at 5:27 pm

    Nice to know that you have a sardonic sense of humour Trevor. (#48) 🙂

  7. TGC

    May 9, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    #46 “The Wiki page on Peter points to the major influence he has had in Perth with regard to transport initiatives”
    I would be correct in taking that not be Perth, Tas 7300? – although huge dollars are being-and will be – spent to the ‘benefit’ of Perth, Tas 7300!

  8. Pete Godfrey

    May 9, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    #46 Chris you are correct, we do not have a planning system. What we have is a “Reactive System”.
    If we had a planning system, then all the planning would be done first, then developers could tender for what projects they wanted to do.
    Such as the Land capabilities would be taken into account first, which would also cover heritage and what sort of developments would fit in in that setting.
    Transport and parking would be planned for, road widening and train stations would be planned for.
    How we wanted the town or city to grow and what character we wanted it to have would also be planned for.
    At the moment what makes Tasmania so attractive to visitors is the quiet, the quaintness and the space.
    Take that away and we will just be another place like every other. People will pass us over as an also ran destination.

  9. Chris Harries

    May 9, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    I wish I had them on hand, Trevor. (#44)

    Prof Peter Newman (he started his career in Hobart) did a slide show in Hobart a while ago illustrating a number of these examples where he has taken a lead. The Wiki page on Peter points to the major influence he has had in Perth with regard to transport initiatives.


    One of the examples he showed in the US was a regional centre not unlike our Kingston that had inadequate public transport (as most US cities have had) and resolved this by inviting corporate bodies to enter into a development project that integrated transport into the centre’s other businesses and infrastructure.

    Basically, the ‘What We Need To Happen’ comes first, then the corporations are drawn in. There’s nothing in this type of planned project design that is anti-business. The aim is for business interests to align with public interest.

    Business basically want to make money and if they can do this in ways that are in accord with the local population’s values and wants then the product feels owned and appreciated.

  10. Robin Charles Halton

    May 9, 2017 at 2:32 am

    The people of Hobart would be foolish not to embrace our tourism economy for what Fragrance is offering to invest in our CBD to liven up the place to bring more visitors.

    At this point I am referring to the fancy designed hotel with a convention centre situated on the dreary flat low lying area known a Wapping beside the Brooker Highway at Nos2-6 Collins St being the former Roberts Real estate and produce building including the carpark.

    Its unlikely a height of 83 meters is going to make any difference to the dull surroundings but what makes it as an interesting design is the Chinese Junk profile outline and a sky bridge to the Macquarie Point area.

    Most definitely,a vast improvement over the dull looking Grand Chancellor monolith and its attached gas tank.

    I would far prefer this structure over a non descript cable car on Mt Wellington.

    I am hoping the Hobart City Council can drive this project to also enhance at this location that really needs something “up lifting” and new to raise the profile of the city at this particular location which is crying out for development.

    Get on with while we have a major private cashed up investor ready to start as it does not impinge on any heritage sites as such nearby!

  11. TGC

    May 9, 2017 at 12:12 am

    #43 “There are some great examples the world where such integrated planning has been done properly.”
    It would be useful to have illustration(not pictures!) of those “examples” and especially where they are in places with some equivalency to Hobart?Tasmania

  12. Chris Harries

    May 8, 2017 at 8:51 pm

    Tim (#40) that’s a much more important concept than you may even think yourself!

    What is called The Planning System is not really a planning system. We don’t plan much at all. What the planning system mainly amounts to is waiting for a random developer to propose something, then make a big fuss about it and then try to deal with the public fallout – whether that’s positive or negative or whatever. A lot of posturing is involved.

    The most sophisticated jurisdictions in the world go through a long process to identify what the community really wants and needs (i.e. real planning) and then they invite third party businesses to fill those identified needs.

    This method spins development around the positive (what we want) rather than the negative (what we may not want). The other advantage is that complementary needs can be catered for properly. If a regional shopping centre is built it needs an associated transport terminus and this ideally needs to be integrated into the design from the very start.

    There are some great examples the world where such integrated planning has been done properly.

    In a small way the Macquarie Point exercise is (or should be) an exercise in real planning. It’s important for politics to have minimal interference for this to work well.

  13. TGC

    May 8, 2017 at 7:22 pm

    Should Errol Flynn be asked what he thinks of this proposal?

  14. Chris Harries

    May 8, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    Ah but you aren’t being given the luxury of such choice, Jim (#39). You may have to live with both. Or all of them.

    If you say anything negative about any one of them then you are one of those ‘anti-development’ people.

  15. Tim Thorne

    May 8, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Simple question. Where is the demonstrated need for such a building?

    Short term construction jobs are no answer to chronic and systemic unemployment. Even as a temporary measure, there are many more socially beneficial buildings that could provide them.

    It seems the cargo cult mentality that believes salvation will come from something external and very, very big (pulp mill, anybody?) is alive and well.

    This project just reeks of money laundering. Next thing someone will want to build a casino. Oh, hang on…

  16. Jim Murray

    May 8, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    Personally I would rather this development go ahead along with others like the cable car than developments that are proposed for world heritage areas and other wild and unspoilt places.

  17. Robin Charles Halton

    May 8, 2017 at 3:03 pm

    Later I will reaffirm my interest and try to be more specific on what is happening and where in the city.

    Fragrance have at least four venues in the city under consideration for development including the ordinary looking rectangular shaped hotel with a modest height of 37 meters at 173-177 Macquarie St under construction at present!

    The three other sites, I will disclose later!

    #35 Good on you Barney but nobody else apart from myself on TT has shown any interest in the rebuilding of the Public Hospital which is on a restricted site which is technically impossible.
    Great opportunity missed by not advancing onto a greenfield site away from the city clutter trap.
    Lara Giddings, Kevin Rudd, Julie Collins and the Hobart city Council are to blame for this grand mistake of the 21st century!
    Andrew Wilkie is entrapped in the ongoing funding row for what is unlikely to be anywhere near a wise 21st century pubic Health care investment for the Southern Region.

  18. Michael Anderson

    May 8, 2017 at 8:27 am


    “Singapore is a unitary multiparty parliamentary republic, with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government. The People’s Action Party has won every election since self-government in 1959. The dominance of the PAP, coupled with a low level of press freedom and restrictions on civil liberties and political rights, has led to Singapore being classified by some as a semi-authoritarian regime.”

  19. philll Parsons

    May 8, 2017 at 2:49 am

    180 stories at PW1. Definitely nuts.

  20. Barney Rubble

    May 8, 2017 at 12:45 am

    32 TV resident, no definitely not from Singapore and have no intention of going there either. Hideous fallic symbol, have you seen that horid looking hotel opposite constitution dock at all? They actually pulled half the bricks of it to change them to what they are now. The pink bricks would have been better.

    Here we have a proposed architecturally designed building willing to push the envelope in a city where folks argue about colour of awnings knowing full well it will never cut the mustard.

    Did you not hear the guy call in on the radio this morning where he knows a company wanted to come down here for a week long conference with 1000 people. Where are we to house all these? In multiple (5+) hotels perhaps?

    Too many conservative not in my backyard types exist in this state and they need a shakeup.

    The same conservatives have wasted 100’s of millions of dollars rebuilding a third world hospital in the city when a first class one could be nearing completion now if built out in the burbs at a fraction of the cost.

    Here is a chance now for Clarence City to give the cross river neighbours the bird and build it on the Bellerive waterfront.

    Just build it……

  21. Robin Charles Halton

    May 7, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    Time for a cold shower, take a deep breath and allow the Hobart City Council’s meeting tonight some space to discuss the issues if there are any apart from the projected building height restriction for Fragrance Stage 1 situated on Davey Street.

    I note the listed Bohemians have entered the fray as inner city development objectors, Richard Flanagan, novelist, Essie Davis, theatrical investigator, Margaret Reynolds heritage fusspot, Robert Morris Nunn architect who left us with the ugly floating shed on the waterfront, Rob Valentine MLC-serial fence sitter and Cassie O’Connor, Greens appointed complainant for anything and everything.

    Let the Council lead the way by allowing an exciting development to take place.

    Lets face it, Hobart’s CBD is a pretty dead hole of a night as the few lifeless wander around in the dark and the cold.

    Despite Mona, cruise ships and all of the Ten Days and Dark Mofo nonsense much of it subsidised by the government is not a patch on the Gold Coast or Cairns both of which have warm weather all year round and plenty to do from hanging out and about to enjoying the water.

    Hobart needs something of the wow factor but its not quite there yet!

  22. Michael Anderson

    May 7, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    @ #29: Great background article. The bigger picture needs to be seen, before it goes down the memory hole. This is the kind of legal manipulation that needs to be exposed.

  23. TV Resident

    May 7, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    Maybe Barney Rubble is Singaporian and very wealthy. There could not be any other possible logical reason for him wanting this or any other hideous fallic symbol to destroy the skyline of Hobart. By all means build their hotels but NEVER pass the height restrictions imposed on the Capital and structure facades to correspond with the history of the place.

  24. throw a spnner in the works

    May 7, 2017 at 3:18 pm

    Totally agree with Gwenda on need for layering of heritage values rather than an awful skyscraper

  25. Chris

    May 7, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    “He has recruited as his Tasmanian public relations spokesperson, Tony Harrison. A tough streetfighter, Harrison first made his name as a spinner for Robin Gray, later for his work for Gunns, and made headlines for his involvement with the shadowy ‘Tasmanians for a Better Future’ group that in 2006 ran a highly controversial campaign at the height of the pulp mill controversy. ”

    I have read recently the RISE and FAll of Gunns and for some reason I equate this proposal with that sage, why is that?
    Will the jobs be on 457 visas, will the tradesmen be imported?
    Will the same Gray tactics be used like some Chancellor presiding over us ….do as ya told, Erica says so.

    How many overseas guests, will be flown here direct from wherever bused in from the airport, transported around in Fantasy coaches and any profit transferred tax free overseas.

    Wotta we get from it?

  26. Chris Harries

    May 7, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    By all means get mad about this skyscraper proposal, but if we don’t deal with the structural changes that the state government is wreaking on Tasmania’s planning system then this is just the start. The character of Tasmania is up for grabs. But it’s mostly under the radar.

    Please read Linley Grant’s article: http://www.themercury.com.au/news/opinion/talking-point-new-state-planning-laws-a-disruptive-attack-on-communities/news-story/0a113dbd2a950c5208571147a1a372f7

    Who is Linley Grant? A wonderfully sparky Hobart octogenarian who has three times the energy of most people in their twenties.

  27. Barney Rubble

    May 7, 2017 at 1:07 am

    Just build it. Those that don’t like it can take off back to the mainland. Too many anti development here in Tasmania stopping everything at every opportunity.

    We will never see Macquarie Point developed because too many want something else and won’t agree. We will never have a cable car because of the scar it will have on the mountain yet a horrid couple of towers the height of this proposal dominate the skyline atop the mountain.

    Enough is enough, just build it……

  28. TGC

    May 6, 2017 at 11:19 pm

    #21 Typo error – should have been ‘Topical’

  29. Andrew Ricketts

    May 6, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    I am not a Hobartian, but this ghastly proposal must surely become widely regarded as a true Sodomising of Hobart, the historic capital of our marvellous little State.

    One could argue any development proposed or applied for would likely be of such significance (in detrimental terms) to the state’s image that it should be regarded as a candidate for a Project of State Significance under the Projects and Policies Act.

  30. ADR

    May 6, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    It seems that the Brown Paper Bag Brigade in the Council with their wads of Brown paper bags stuffed with $100 notes generously given as “Facilitation Payments” from favour seeking developers are alive and well.
    Hearty handshakes accompanied by a resounding “Maaate” will be heard in the hallowed corridors of the City Hall.
    However, in a city such as Hobart, already 42 degrees south of the Equator, wouldn’t such high rise structures block out what little winter sunlight we get from our wind tunnel streets?
    At this latitude, they cast very long shadows in winter.
    We can bet our boots that the ordinary ratepayers and residents will be treated with secrecy and contempt by the Council.
    Hobart will just continue to become a colder place, in more ways than one.

  31. Gwenda Sheridan

    May 6, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    Heritage must be seen as at the apex of this issue.

    Hobart is an evolved 214 year old historic city. It is our second oldest city in the nation and still retains an amazing degree of authenticity.

    UNESCO and the world heritage body the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) have well recognised the problems which cities world-wide face with the tide of modern development. In 2010 the Historic Urban Landscape programme (HUL) came into being…. several of the recommendations below relevant to the current situation.

    ” For this reason, the comments by ICOMOS also emphasise the inter-generational nature of heritage conservation in that heritage resources must not be sacrificed needlessly to suit the passing needs and aspirations of any one generation.

    The comments by ICOMOS also draw the attention to the need to encourage excellence in all architectural and urbanistic interventions, in conservation efforts and also in new buildings and programmes. Quality interventions are rooted in the place or genius loci, its history and different layers.” [A New International Instrument: the proposed UNESCO Recommendations on the Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) 24 December 2010.

    In Quebec in 2008 no doubt was left as to the importance and meaning of Genius loci by ICOMOS,

    “The spirit of place offers a more comprehensive understanding of the living and, at the same time, permanent character of monuments, sites and cultural landscapes. It provides a richer, more dynamic, and inclusive vision of cultural heritage. Spirit of place exists, in one form or another, in practically all the cultures of the world, and is constructed by human beings in response to their social needs.” [16th General Assembly of ICOMOS Canada, Québec Declaration on the Spirit of Place, 4 Oct. 2008.]

    By 2011 ICOMOS had issued The Urban Landscape Guidebook. 2011.

    “the historic urban landscape is the urban area understood as the result of a historic layering of cultural and natural values and attributes, extending beyond the notion of ‘historic centre’ or ‘ensemble’ to include the broader urban context and its geographical setting. This wider context includes notably the site’s topography, geomorphology, hydrology and natural features, its built environment, both historic and contemporary, its infrastructures above and below ground, its open spaces and gardens, its land use patterns and spatial organization, perceptions and visual relationships, as well as all other elements of the urban structure. It also includes social and cultural practices and values, economic processes and the intangible dimensions of heritage as related to diversity and identity.”

    Ballarat, Victoria a city not nearly as large as Hobart in 2013 became the first city to become a part of an international pilot program to implement UNESCO’s Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape.

    Instead of aiming to enormously diminish the historic authenticity of place-Hobart with phallic symbols such as those proposed, let’s pause, try a re- think to put heritage up there as of NO. 1 importance. How do others do it?

    Edinburgh, capital of Scotland for example has around 4 million visitors a year who injet £1.32 billion a year into the local economy. It has a multiple award-winning reputation as one of the most attractive destinations in the world, with an ideal mix of shopping, culture, music, heritage and leisure facilities. See http://www.investinedinburgh.com/industry-strengths/tourism/#sthash.gQULHnS4.dpuf

    Gwenda Sheridan PIA, M-ICOMOS, A-ICOMOS-ISC-CL.

  32. Michael Anderson

    May 6, 2017 at 9:35 pm

    The process of taking a profit off of a “built” environment (downtown Hobart) is similar to the taking of an unspoiled continent or locale, and also of the process of enclosure.

    The natives will be De-humanized, so that their fate; impoverishment and displacement because of higher rents, and the corresponding rise in the cost of necessities (food & clothing); will be rationalized as collateral damage or externalized costs by the interested colonising parties.

    The fate of folks who live in Hobart, many who have lived there for generations, will be reduced to collateral damage, necessary for the taking of profits, as properties are appropriated for use by, in this particular case, developers from Singapore. They will become invisible.

    Material & financial accumulation, strategy and tactics.

  33. PHilip Lowe

    May 6, 2017 at 9:22 pm

    I have recently had a small involvement in opposing two bronze covered mini skyscrapers in Manchester.They were to be built by a consortium led by Garry Neville,Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes,wealthy ex Manchester United footballers and a group of Singaporean business men?I wonder who that might have been?I wrote to the footballers,including one letter stapled to a 1956 Man Utd. Programme.Garry Neville did not reply.The two bronze turds,as they were affectionately known in Manchester were to be hotel and residential for the BMW owning latte sipping posers of the town.Read my mind.It would have involved demolition of an old synagogue,old police station and a Victorian gents toilet still in use.Victoria was on the throne here.The Glass finger in Hobart will no doubt be a social hub of community with places for all regardless of wealth or circumstance?No bloody chance.More,wealth obsessed property investing establishmentarians?I saw what happened in Hobart with the obscene growth of the multi story car parks.More soul-less structures could not be imagined.Ugly beyond belief.

  34. J B Nimble

    May 6, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    14 & 19, (Typical)

  35. Luigi Brown

    May 6, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    If the community bands together to stop developments like this, a few individuals will miss out on vast immediate profits from their developments. Where would we be then?

  36. TGC

    May 6, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    It may be that Hobart- and Tasmania of which Hobart is the splutterng engine room- can forever remain that quaint little city down south.

  37. Betty

    May 6, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    If this goes ahead it will open up the flood gates and we’ll end up like down town Singapore! greedy profit driven property developer’s know no boundaries.

  38. Michael Anderson

    May 6, 2017 at 8:46 am

    @ #16—Can’t say it better than that, especially the last paragraph.

  39. philll Parsons

    May 6, 2017 at 5:31 am

    As I have written before when destruction was offered to a colonial icon, Once Circular Quay had its Salamanca Stores only to be replaced by little buildings for the insurance companies of the day. Uptown Sydney was swallowed tower by tower until its canyons became wind tunnels bereft of the sun for parts of the day, a place to only go when absolutely necessary.

    Fortunately Sydney had some planning with the great sweep of parkland to its east with some associated cultural history, allowing for an escape from the despairing depths of business and the associated roadways that allow for access to the high density high rise component.

    What escapes me is why, besides the venality of rate revenue, the government of Hobart or of Tasmania want to sacrifice our point of difference, the asset we have to attract tourists and businesses looking for the smaller scale liveable city that Hobart currently is.

    To what end is the one asset Hobart has being sold. To make an already asset rich resident of another place asset richer, allowing him to live on the credit extended to allow construction of an undesired undesirable development.

    No doubt the worthy Will and other cronies of development have been wined and dined and lined up to laud the idea of height making some difference to the lives of most residents when in reality it is the thin edge of the knife that will end the attractiveness of Hobart, placing it at the back of the queue of minor city’s with a big building and not at the forefront of one that retains it’s character from it’s time of founding.

    This proposal is just one of the many that are prostituting Tasmania’s assets for the short term gain of people who care not for a community in which they do not live.

  40. john dowson

    May 6, 2017 at 4:16 am

    Shocking proposal. I for one would not want to visit Hobart again if it had that tower. We have the same problems now in historic Fremantle with developers (and Notre Dame University) trying to break the planning rules to get extra height in the famous West End and hitoric town. Unfortunately the council under mayor Pettitt encourages the damage and altered the town planning scheme to make it easier for extra height on some sites that is too high for the human scale of Fremantle.

  41. Robin Charles Halton

    May 6, 2017 at 1:37 am

    Absolute nonsense, Yeh what Richard says the usual nodders always agree, not surprising that they all fart together and enjoy each others bad habits!

    The reality is Hobart has a number of horrible building that should face the wrecking ball.

    Take the Grand Chancellor, who on earth allowed this Soviet monstrosity the right to stand were it is since 1987.

    The ugly Brutalist multiple box at 10 Murray St built in 1966, here is hoping Citta will eventually remove it altogether.

    I am all for what Fragrance is creating in Hobart, in Collins St and the Tower Hotel near the waterfront.

    Richard should stick to writing novels and his mob but staying out of others business.

    I love the challenge but the powers that be should also consider a traffic bypass behind the city to steady up the unnecessary traffic flow rambling up and down the Davey St and Macquarie St drag way instead of playing around with more bike lanes and street mosaic workshops for the unemployable.

    Macquarie Point, nobody want to invest in that crap, the old sheds are being occupied by the artistic bohemian types which is fine and Sue the Mayor is advancing more area for car parking remembering that the car is king and visitors who come to see Hobart deserve decent and affordable car parking close to the cultural action nearby, a good move for all.

    Leave the Sewerage Treatment plant on site as it is an important public health institution left in situ.
    As Bob Clifford suggested recently cap it with an architectural gem, perhaps hand it to Fragrance in exchange for permission to build the Tower!

  42. Peter McHugh

    May 5, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    Singapore isn’t really the best model for Hobart to follow. Better to look at Penang and Malacca for their World Heritage human environments.

  43. john hayward

    May 5, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Whatever your personal response to the Fragrance Group’s plans, you have to admit it captures the aesthetic sensibilities of Tassie’s dominant Tas Inc culture.

    Whether you are talking about urban heritage or natural environments, both sit a distant second to the proceeds of their sale in the eyes of our ruling class, who have repeatedly shown themselves to be completely free of crass consciousness.

    John Hayward

  44. TGC

    May 5, 2017 at 6:59 pm

    #7 Probably not- but they may like to have that challenge?

  45. Sustainable Australia

    May 5, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Well said Richard.

    This development ties in with policies which support increasing tourism numbers to 1.5 million people by 2020 and increasing Tasmania’s population by 150,000 people.

    The current Statewide Planning Scheme process will result in urban densification,sprawl – and large scale tourist resorts and high rise visitor accommodation like this.

    Sustainable Australia will soon be launching a state party to address these issues and more. Everyone is welcome at the launch. http://www.votesustainable.org.au/events

  46. philll Parsons

    May 5, 2017 at 6:36 pm

    Padua has no high rise downtown and has heaps of tourists. This is only a gift for developers, not an essential development.

  47. Michael Anderson

    May 5, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    We visited Hobart last year to see my daughter, who moved there in ’05. We loved it. You have a beautiful city!

    This kind of development is happening now in Eugene, OR., where we live. Don’t let it happen there.

    It’s all about extracting higher rents, and you can bet that The Fragrance Group (the irony in that name is visceral), which is nothing but a transnational property development Corp, will get a deal on taxes that will shift the load to local homeowners for their excessive opulence, something Hobart can’t afford with the extremely tight housing market there.

  48. Robert Middleton

    May 5, 2017 at 2:54 pm

    Just a question – Is the Hobart Fire Brigade properly equipped and trained to fight a fire in the upper reaches of a 40-storey building?

  49. TV Resident

    May 5, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    I agree with ALL of the comments 5 and below. This monstrosity has NO place in Hobart. I will never understand why our beautiful cities have to be revamped into mini Melbournes or mini Sydneys.

    These greed driven ugly styles of architecture being proposed for Hobart, if they are approved, will actually spoil the history of Hobart and the tourism.

    Why would anyone want to come and see what they can see in their own cities on the mainland or overseas??

    Unfortunately money talks and the ‘powers that be’ are just as greedy, if not more greedy than the developers. I am currently having issues with Launceston knocking down our history for bloody carparks etc to suit the likes of Josef Chromy and his mini disneyland project.

    The next thing to go apparently is the TRC Hotel to an even bigger one. PURE GREED and STUPIDITY on council’s part. MONEY TALKS!!!


  50. Jack B Nimble

    May 5, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    I agree with all the above comments.

    Hobart is such a beautiful city, it is unique, no other city in Australia has the same olde-world feel and beauty as Hobart.

    If these ugly buildings are built Hobart will lose its charm.

    J B Nimble.

  51. Pete Godfrey

    May 5, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    I just noticed a game killer.
    The awnings are the wrong colour, the building will never be approved with them.

  52. Pete Godfrey

    May 5, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    I agree that it should not be built. It is not as if we are running out of space, or that we need to get more people into the centre of Hobart.
    I thought we had enough traffic problems there already.
    The idea of homogenising the whole planet does not appeal to me at all. People come here because it is different. Keep Tasmania different.

  53. O'Brien

    May 5, 2017 at 9:55 am

    The only thing it takes for greed-heads to prevail is for the decent civilized folk of Tassie to do nothing.

  54. Robert Middleton

    May 5, 2017 at 8:38 am


    Hobart is truly blessed. It has its harbour, its historic buildings and iconic Mount Wellington. It has authentic character, a sense of place and heritage in abundance. It is a liveable city, comfortable, congenial, cozy and navigable, with a scale and pace that are non-threatening and tolerable to most residents and visitors alike.

    This hideous high-rise is compatible with none of that. It doesn’t belong in Hobart or anywhere else, except maybe Singapore or Hong Kong. Imposing this ugly, ill-conceived structure on Hobart would be a heinous, unforgivable crime.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top