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


Despoliation by developers …

*Pic TCT: Image from HERE, where you can sign a PETITION …

First published August 25

I have just returned from Edinburgh to which I travelled for the opening week of that great city’s annual arts festival – now in its seventieth year and one of the mightiest magnets for tourism in the world.

I love that city, the capital of the mind and, during the Enlightenment, a mighty contributor to science, literature, invention, trade and architecture.

Its ravishing sandstone buildings reminded me of Hobart’s … and both cities face despoliation by developers.

Hobart’s latest example of developer greed, rotten taste, incivility and arrogant disregard of history is the proposed Fragrance Hotel, an Antipodean take on London’s most-hated building known as the Gherkin.

There is another description that would shock TT readers so I’ll forbear from mentioning it.

It is hard to imagine a building less suited to its surroundings or less appropriately named.

What’s fragrant about it? It deserves to be rejected out of hand, given cursory consideration, but time and money is being expended on taking it seriously.

Who is to defend the character of Hobart?

The National Trust is a broken reed.

Riven by north / south rivalries and bereft of even rudimentary marketing skills, its voice is unheard among the chanted mantras of venal politicians – jobs, economic benefits etc – mostly bullshit..

Development should not rule out good modern design but risible schemes such as the unfragrant Fragrance Hotel should be swiftly killed off.

Both Hobart Council and the state government need to understand that if they, as a columnist in The Scotsman wrote last week, “continue to sanction development that ignores the architectural ethos of the city it will erode the very quality that underpins Hobart’s attraction” to residents and tourists who visit in increasing numbers.

Foxtel Pic: of Leo Schofield.
*Leo Schofield AM, Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, D. Litt (honoris causa), is a festival director (thirteen in all!), journalist, foodie, culture vulture and still energetic octogenatian. He lives in Sydney but has lived in London, New York, Brewarrina, Melbourne, Brisbane and Kempton. Despite an ill-conceived comment spoken in anger he loves Tassie, keeps in touch via Tasmanian Times, has some lovely, loyal, understanding friends there …

EARLIER on Tasmanian Times …

DONALD KNOWLER: A soaring city reaps a terrible toll

Do we really wish to be known as Phallus City … ?

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

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


  1. Robin Charles Halton

    August 30, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    Melbourne is the place to reckon with as it advances its public infrastructure to continue to improve its liveability factor

    $1.6B for 3.2 Km Skyrail in Melbournes SE is advancing well after funding by the Turnbull Government to the Andrews Govt.

    Greater Hobart if it is prepared to attract investment and allow for sustainable population growth, the Government assisted by the influence of local councils, there is an urgent need to advance the City traffic bypass from the Southern Outlet towards the Western Suburbs.

    Crowding the limited space in inner city with Uni expansion without considering the road transportation crowding issues and limited parking is already becoming apparent as more traffic is passing into or through the CBD without any thought to future planning.

    There needs to be a realist plan to deal with the allowance for more vehicle dependent populations on the move in and around the Greater Hobart area on their daily business and chores.

  2. Robin Charles Halton

    August 29, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    #9 Simon there is plenty going on in Melbourne all year round, we recently stayed there to attend the Van Gogh exibition at the National Gallery, at present the Christian Dior collection is on display.

    We stayed at Oaks on Southbank well appointed and not expensive ( winter price $111 pn for 2) ,a stone throw from the National Gallery, Flinder St station and the extremely efficient free trams for accessing the CBD which are so simple and enjoyable.

    There is plenty to do, plenty of places to go during the day, we visited the old Victoria Market, fantastic, top notch good quality food at reasonable prices.

    My joy was to discover Borek on Elizabeth St Melbourne, leaves Hobart’s version of Turkish treats, Pane Cucina for dead, too expensive and its not really Turkish style.

    It no wonder people even from Tasmania dont mind Melbourne as there is plenty on offer, public transport is so simple, eating out is enjoyable and not expensive, plenty of Asian joint,
    Public transport is advanced compared with this hole of a place waiting forever for a bus which is generally too expensive to even bother!
    As we own a car, 2 in fact and old 1977 2 liter VW Kombi and a little 2014 Suzuki swifty Swift, cant beat the car outside reasonable walking distance stints to and from home.

  3. Robin Charles Halton

    August 27, 2017 at 12:22 pm

    Myer Stage 1 is not impressive so far, ye horrors wait till you see the dark gray slab arising from behind the facade in Murray St, its happening!

    Another issue, the overall Myer wonder is despoiled by the retention of the ugly office building on the corner of Murray and Collins St.
    It sits on the corner like a sore thumb between Myer stages 1 and 2.

    We will have to wait patiently till Stage 2 is completed followed by filling in the 5/6 floors above Stage 1 to see if a remarkable architectural transformation emerges after all of the fuss to reconfigure the appearance and shopping appeal of the CBD to make Hobart an exciting place for both shoppers and visitors.

    I am not being sarcastic but the dead wintering hole of a place needs to lift its game.

  4. Simon Warriner

    August 27, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    re 8, perhaps, Robin, the real reason for Hobart being such a boring hole of a place during the latter stages of winter is that the fire pots from the Winter Fest have all gone out and it is too friggin cold for anyone with half a brain to go out and about. Melbourne is much the same at this time of year. Everyone is inside keeping warm.

    Putting up an out of proportion building ain’t going to change that.

  5. Robin Charles Halton

    August 27, 2017 at 2:33 am

    Hobart is such a boring hole of a place during the latter stages of winter its no wonder visitors are at an all time low and loath to waste theri time coming here instead flee to the warmer parts of the eastern seaboard of nation.

    I tend to agree with the anti development mob the Fragrance Tower is being unethically indifferent to most of the grumpy older Hobartians instead I do support the fancy 83 meter high super hotel/convention centre out on no mans land on the CBD fringe, the old Roberts Ltd site as it would hide that ugly Grand Chancellor bastard of a building as more of a welcome coming into town across the Tasman bridge from our “International” airport that smells like a toilet block using excessive chemicals to hide the odour.

    Well at least I know that Melbourne, Brisbane, Sydney and Cairns airports dont smell at all, Hobart needs to get its act together and at least provide something exciting as city life is not existent.

    It cant be true that I heard the Wrest Point Casino building is to be placed on the National Register, the country is going mad but I am not going to be dragged into that as the Casino is a most horrible building blotting the Derwent landscape.

  6. Funding & Disclosure (Inc)

    August 26, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    • If I was planning a contentious multi million dollar development that would need local government approval I would do whatever I can (within the law) to ensure this.
    • I would be obliged by law to put the interest of my company’s shareholders and creditors first.
    • Knowing that there is an LG election due in 2018 I would identify potential candidates who are likely to be supportive of my plans.
    • I would give them ample funds to help them raise their profiles between now and the elections.
    • They could legally accept and spend any amount and would never have to disclose these donations to the public as Tasmania is the only state in Australia that has no donation disclosure requirements or restrictions.
    • Despite relevant submissions to the Targeted Review of the Local Government Act the State Government has decided not to make any changes in this area.

    Funding & Disclosure (Inc)


  7. Steve

    August 25, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    #1(&2), Totally agree, but just consider, every time you encounter some abortion of a development despoiling a city, there was a time when it wasn’t there.
    My observation is that it is very rare for a controversial development to go ahead and years after it’s completed, everyone is saying that it actually was a good idea after all.
    Generally the argument goes; “well, this proposal doesn’t really fit with the general design of the city but we let that monstrosity be built down the road and we really need the development dollars..”
    Before you know it, there’s several monstrosities and everyone hates them, but by then it’s all too late.
    I just hope the electors of Hobart have enough sense to recognise the trap, but as I commented elsewhere, a populace seldom realises what is has until it’s gone.

  8. PHilip Lowe

    August 25, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    as people are democratically elected,so they can be democratically unelected.Have at them.

  9. Chris

    August 25, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    Ah the friends of the Exclusive Brethren rear their very ugly heads as related by our dear Richard above,
    How many Tasmanians realise the the utter secrecy of this “movement style ” group in the inner sanctums of of the right wing political parties DNA.
    Howard along with the Mantach’s and their allies ensured that the EB was funded in many ways,(the cult’s education costs were funded by the desiccated coconut) in my belief, the recruitment of his mantra and integration with leading figures in Tasmania resulted in one corrupt election result and continues today in developments sanctioned by a vicious right wing government intent upon supporting via their religious nuts (Exclusive Brethren) projects which, if the public knew their intent, would reject.
    The cult claims to be made up of non political members who do not vote, watch radio or listen to TV and consist mainly of business people.
    Would any Tasmanian with more than one brain cell allow the development of the a building which will earn the derision of its citizens.
    Will the Councillors of this city and the Government forbid the so called development or will they acquiesce to the almighty Asian dollar and like Ta Ann get the Rolly Polly to manage the whole affair?


    “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.

    SAY NO MORE put them in the bath.

  10. O'Brien

    August 25, 2017 at 10:23 am

    How much profit would be pocketed by public servants with vested interests in quarry, cement & road haulage firms if stinking fragrance went ahead? How is it a public servant can hold a full time ‘conservation’ position whilst working full time on their business interests?

  11. Wining Pom

    August 25, 2017 at 2:42 am

    Rom, twice? How about once

  12. Rom

    August 24, 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Any Council that even blinks twice at this revolting Asian Phallus will be obliterated.

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