Will Hodgman’s labelling of the many diverse individuals and communities that are opposed to the MWCC’s proposed development as “anti-everything” is a tactic that the Liberal Party has been using to its political advantage for decades.

They have used labels and stereotypes such as “anti-everything” and “greenie” to dehumanise people and create an “us vs them” rhetoric to sow fear, divide and manipulate the community.

The various communities opposed to MWCC’s proposed development on kunanyi/Mt Wellington are comprised of many individuals all with different backgrounds, life experiences, world views and opinions.

The one thing that brings these diverse individuals and communities together is their love and respect for the Mountain.

Many recognise that kunanyi/Mt Wellington has issues in relation to traffic and parking particularly at peak periods. Many would be open to a transparent and inclusive process that examines these issues in a holistic manner to find development solutions that would provide better access and amenities throughout the Park that would enable locals and visitors alike to experience the whole Mountain not just admire the view from the pinnacle.

Opposition to MWCC’s proposal to build an enormous commercial centre on the sensitive alpine pinnacle of the Mountain containing restaurant, café, whisky bar, and associated cableway, is not anti-everything, it is just anti- inappropriate and unnecessary development.

When the labels “anti-everything” and “greenie” are used, “bad for the economic future of Tasmania” is also implied. This is curious when one considers that the major draw cards behind the current popularity of Tasmania and the tourist fuelled economic boom are it’s relatively underdeveloped landscapes, history and unique wild places.

These only exist today because “greenies” in the past had the foresight to fight to preserve what they held to be precious.

The Government’s intervention to enable MWCC’s proposal could be seen as a form of crony capitalism, in which businesses thrive not as a result of competition and risk, but rather due to a nexus between a business class and the political class.

The State Government has used public resources and changed laws to advantage/benefit the MWCC, and given rights and privileges to MWCC that are not available to others.

There has been no transparent process to examine other tourism/development options on the Mountain that would encourage competition, risk taking, and result in a more holistic integrated development of the Park for the benefit of the local people instead of for a private developer and wealthy tourists. Instead the Government is simply encouraging profiteering by a single company from public parkland, stifling competition, entrepreneurship and innovative practices.

They have ignored general community feedback and opposition and most importantly ignored local Aboriginal groups that are vehemently opposed to the proposal.

Maybe it is the entrenched culture of crony capitalism that has been holding Tasmania’s socio-economic development back all this time and not the “greenies” after all?

Cable car: Richard Flanagan’s speech in full …