Final plans for 2.7 km Mt Wellington aerial tram

Discussion in 'Ben Lomond' started by Bogong, Aug 16, 2018.

  1. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
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    The final design for the Mt Wellington Cableway in Hobart was revealed today. It replaces the previous plans hybrid system of an aerial tram and a gondola and with a 2.7 km aerial tramway with a vertical gain of 920 metres and featuring a span of 2040 metres between support towers. Passengers will be transported in two 80 person, 7 x 4 metre cabins which will travel at a speedy 10 metres a second. The top station will be recessed into the mountain with a more discreet profile than the current shelter. Details of the plan on the MWCC website.

    Personally I see this as a win-win for everyone. It will more than halve traffic using the road, present a lower profile than the current visitor shelter, provide 80 permanent jobs and a major boost for tourism in all of southern Tassie. I can't see a rational reason why people would be opposed to it.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
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  2. JA2340

    JA2340 Part of the Furniture
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    But there will be opposition, you can bet your bum on that!
     
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  3. dogski

    dogski Hard Yards

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    Of course there will be.It's Australia after all
     
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  4. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Aussie: We'll put in a road anywhere / everywhere - almost without question but put in a lift and all hell breaks loose.
     
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  5. PK Sawd

    PK Sawd Part of the Furniture
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    I've always been ambivalent about the plans to be honest. It matters little to me given the sort of access I prefer. But I do recognise the summit area as it now stands is a total dog's breakfast and I'd love to see a plan for it being the prime focus of efforts. That may or may not include cable car access. It should also include the Springs area which is a wonderful staging point for a series of really great, sheltered trails, many of which are accessible for a wide range of people and abilities.

    I think what I want most for any process is proper due diligence, transparent consultation and decision making and not letting a bunch of cowboys rock in, fail and then leave the state with a liability.
     
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  6. sbm_

    sbm_ One of Us

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    I think the three strongest arguments against are
    1. Weather, it obviously gets pretty wild up there, what percentage of days will it be able to operate?
    2. Is it going to be impossibly expensive to ride, enough that people are just going to skip it and drive up anyway, especially locals? Will they end up closing the road to force people to buy an $80 lift ticket?
    3. There's a difference between opposing a lift in general, and opposing a particular group's slightly shady proposal for a lift. See PK's comment
    My rock climbing friends on facebook are up in arms and whinging, I cynically suspect they really just don't want a peanut gallery watching them from up above all the time. Which to be fair, is a vibe-killer.
     
  7. PK Sawd

    PK Sawd Part of the Furniture
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    Personally I think the weather argument is a furphy. There would be very few days where operation would be impossible I am reckoning. I run up there regularly and that aspect of the mountain offers a great deal of shelter from the prevailing winds. These setups operate in high alpine environments around the world. Mt Wellington can't pose any greater challenge surely.

    Lots of people will choose to go the low cost option up the road and to date it has been explicit that the operation of the cable car will not be contingent on restricting road access. It might provide some angles for management of "risk" though which could potentially see them being more trigger happy on the road access gates. But that is just a thought which has occurred to me on the fly and I haven't really worked it through.

    I've got to say though that the road is really awful. Or rather, there are sufficient numbers of drivers who handle it poorly to make it an awful experience having to negotiate it.
     
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  8. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us
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    So seeing as I was there recently I have been checking the web cams with relative frequency (currently a bit of snow up there right now :D https://www.hobartcity.com.au/Community/kunanyi-Mount-Wellington/kunanyi-Mount-Wellington-webcams ) and as the road status is linked on the web cam page I have also been checking the road status and what has surprised me is just how much the road has actually been closed this winter (due to snow events).

    Been shut for what seems ages at a time so if that was the norm (not sure?) then I am all for some sort of cable car access up to the top so people can get up there and have a "play".

    Of course echoing your comments @sbm_ I would hate to see it be cost prohibitive (because If I could I would love to use it often and would want others too as well) and would love to see it affordably priced but the cynic in me says it will likely be priced to gouge people :mad:

    Reminds me a bit of the Banff Sulfer Mountain Gondola - I spent a couple of months in Banff years ago and rode it down a heap of times (was free down so I would hike up) but never paid to ride it up and just looking at its current pricing ($58 or $64 or $49 if you are a resident) I still wouldn't :eek: Seriously if you were a family of 4 that's $200 and I guess that's the issue if you get private operators involved - they want to recoup costs and them some!!

    So I'm all for it - but as long as it was affordable :thumbs:

    Did the city of Hobart or the state government ever enter into talks?
     
  9. PK Sawd

    PK Sawd Part of the Furniture
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    As the current Mayor pointed out this morning, the council has never actually received a Development Application in over 100 years of talking about it. I don't know to what extent they need to or should consult with the State Government BEFORE a DA is actually lodged? I guess there is a lot of brinkmanship going on around the proposal at the moment.

    Ha ha! Your post Scooter reminded me of all the times I have stumped up and down the Buller road from Horse Hill because I wasn't going to pay the shuttle service to take me such a short distance. It was often rather unpleasant but I could spend the money I saved on beer so it wasn't all bad.
     
  10. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    Will it take MTBs?
     
  11. PK Sawd

    PK Sawd Part of the Furniture
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    It would be mad not to I would have thought. It's such a growing segment of the tourism and leisure market. Derby, Eagles Eyrie etc are going gangbusters and helping to offset problems of regional employment at the same time.
     
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  12. sbm_

    sbm_ One of Us

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    I reckon the one-off ticket price has to be less than $30, and a local annual pass less than $200. Preferably closer to $100.
     
  13. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    Similar pricing to Scenic World in TombTown.
     
  14. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
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    I don't have any involvement with it, but I am a fan of aerial ropeways, so I've read the plan and I can reply to a few points people have made.

    Due process. It's been six years since the first version of the plan was floated and consultation began. It's been bounced back and forth between the state government, two local councils, every political party and more groups than you can point a stick at. As a result, the plans have been modified several times over six years until this final plan was revealed and it is the one that will be formally submitted for planning permission. The planning process for the much smaller Arthurs Seat gondola in Victoria took just as long, the people behind these projects know they have to address peoples concerns and modify the project accordingly if they want the thing built.

    Bikes. Bikes will be accommodated in the cabins and they will build new dedicated mountain bike tracks to separate bikes from pedestrians, as the current shared tracks are hazardous for both groups.

    Price. It will be fairly pricey. Comparing it with similar projects, the shorter Arthurs Seat gondola costs $24 return while the much longer Cairns - Kuranda gondola costs $79 return. I suspect the Hobart aerial tram will be between the two, my guess is around $40.

    Wind hold. As each car will be supported by two ropes a couple of metres apart, they won't sway like chairlifts and gondolas do. It's expected that the tram will run 99.5% of days, which translates to closure due to high winds on two days each year. They do point out that the cable car will provide access to the summit on heavy snow days when the road is closed.
     
    #14 Bogong, Aug 21, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
  15. Scooter

    Scooter One of Us
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    Yeah I'm the same with Falls - have been there heaps (mostly staying at the top of the Village) and never even considered paying for over-snow :D
     
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  16. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
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    I heard it got voted down. Runs off to check
     
  17. PK Sawd

    PK Sawd Part of the Furniture
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    Yep, council voted down the application for a carve out of public land to make a road to a base station on the Main Fire Trail just past the end of old farm road. Just for context, that road would run through the tip at Mc Robies Gully (amusingly this is an anagram of microbes.....) but from there apparently through a habitat that is relatively rare. For some reason I can't quite figure it doesn't exactly follow the line of existing trails that go the same way. That means extra clearing of vegetation. When I first heard of the plan I thought they'd use the existing and then the footprint/impact would have been fairly minimal.

    State Government is pretty keen for it to happen but they recently got cold feet once the proponents started putting in survey pegs on the summit. I don't quite know what they are willing to do but I sense a degree of nervousness. If push ever comes to shove it will be a real hotbed issue.

    Glenorchy city council have been telling the proponents for ages they are welcome to use land to create a route from the North. It would be much longer and more expensive to build however.
     
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  18. Bogong

    Bogong Part of the Furniture
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    My understanding was that last year the state government knew the Hobart Council would always vote against anything to do with the cable car and had it declared a "Project of state significance" (or a similar term), which allowed them to over ride council resolutions affecting the project. ???
     
  19. PK Sawd

    PK Sawd Part of the Furniture
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    I can't recall to be honest. But when the survey pegs and tape started to appear on the Summit, Peter Gutwein declared the original approval for surveying was no longer relevant due to changes between what was submitted and approved and what was later modified. The impression I got at the time was that there was more than just procedural considerations governing Gutwein's response. The language was pretty abrupt. They were told to desist immediately.

    Actually, it could have been decidedly procedural and may have been a reminder to the proponents that while they might have the ear of government it needs to be done scrupulously above board as there is a lot of contention around the project.
     
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  20. PK Sawd

    PK Sawd Part of the Furniture
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  21. Call_me_Ishmael

    Call_me_Ishmael One of Us

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    You're the guy from Big Bang Theory right?
     
  22. PK Sawd

    PK Sawd Part of the Furniture
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    I could be but I've never watched it so can't confirm.
     
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  23. Rabid K9

    Rabid K9 One of Us
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    That is pure gold, especially delivered deadpan.
     
  24. PK Sawd

    PK Sawd Part of the Furniture
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    I'm glad somebody else liked it. I've mentioned it before but people just looked nervous and sidled away from me........
     
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  25. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
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    i agree. camp or huts ok but fk choppers