Cable car proposal
The Mount Wellington Cableway Company is proposing to build a cable car on the eastern side of kunanyi / Mount Wellington.
Is a cable car allowed in Wellington Park?
Chapter 8 of the Wellington Park Management Plan sets out the activities, uses and development that are allowable in the Park. A cable car (included as a Potential Transport Mode) is a discretionary development within both the Springs Specific Area and Pinnacle Specific Area in the Management Plan. Infrastructure associated with a cable car is a discretionary development in both the Natural Zone and Recreation Zone in the Management Plan.
A cable car is only one of a range of uses and developments that may be proposed for the Pinnacle Specific Area (see Table 3 on page 131 of the Wellington Park Management Plan). Any developments that are not listed as exempt in Table 4 on page 140 of the Management Plan have to meet the requirements for use and development set out in Chapter 8 of the Management Plan.
How will the cable car proposal be assessed?
The process for assessing proposals for developments in Wellington Park is described in Chapter 8 of the Management Plan. The current proposal for a cable car in the Park requires a planning permit from the local Planning Authority under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 (LUPAA), which is why a development application has recently been lodged with Hobart City Council. Hobart City Council owns the land on which the cable car facilities would be built so it is both the local planning authority and the landowner. The Management Plan also sets out the standards for use and development the Planning Authority must use when assessing the development application for a cable car. In order to obtain a planning permit from Council under LUPAA, the MWCC will have to demonstrate that its proposed development can meet the standards for use and development in Table 5 of Chapter 8 of the Management Plan and S2.6 of Chapter 8b for any part of the proposed development within the Pinnacle Specific Area and in Table 5 of Chapter 8 for the parts of the proposed development in the Natural and Recreation Zones of the Park.
In addition to a planning permit under LUPAA, the proposed cable car development will require a permit from the Trust under the Wellington Park Regulations 2019. The process that the Trust must go through to determine if it will issue a permit for a cable car is set out in the Management Plan. This is a separate process to Council’s assessment of an application for a planning permit under LUPAA and requires the development proponent to submit a Park Activity Assessment addressing the issues listed in Chapter 8 of the Management Plan and any relevant Wellington Park strategies and policies.
The two planning processes are illustrated in Appendix 3A on page 258 of the Management Plan. Note that the Management Plan does not require that one assessment process be completed before the other and mentions that they can occur in parallel.
A decision by the Local Government Authority to issue or refuse to issue a planning permit can be appealed in accordance with LUPAA. The Wellington Park Act 1993 does not provide an appeal process for decision by the Trust to issue or refuse a permit under the Wellington Park Regulations.
Has the Trust started its assessment of the cable car proposal?
The Mount Wellington Cableway Company has lodged an application for a planning permit under LUPAA with the Hobart City Council. The Trust has not received any application for a permit under the Wellington Park Regulations for construction of a cable car in Wellington Park and is not able to begin assessing the impacts of a cable car development until a Park Activity Assessment is lodged.
Following a request by the Mount Wellington Cableway Company, the Trust has provided it with a preliminary list of the issues that would need to be covered in a Park Activity Assessment for a cable car development in the Park. These are the relevant requirements outlined in Chapter 8 of the Wellington Park Management Plan 2013 that the Trust needs to consider when assessing the impact of any development proposal in the Park (see section 8.5.1 on page 134 and S2.1 on page 167 of the Management Plan). The Trust may require further information if it is not satisfied that the information provided by the proponent is sufficient to assess the impact of the proposal and proposed impact mitigation measures.
What other approvals does the proposed cable car require?
Operation of cable car in Wellington Park and any associated businesses (shops, restaurants etc.) would require a licence from the Trust under section 31 of the Wellington Park Act. Normally this would not be issued until the business is ready to start operation, or at least has the required planning approval.
Should the cable car be approved, the land it occupies would be leased from the landowner. Issuing of any leases or licences to occupy in the Park requires the approval of the Trust under section 32 of the Wellington Park Act.
What is the Cable Car (kunanyi / Mount Wellington) Facilitation Act?
The Cable Car (kunanyi / Mount Wellington) Facilitation Act 2017 allows the Minister for State Growth to issue a cable car proponent an Authority to Enter Land to carry out on the land activities, including testing, that are reasonably required to be carried out by or on behalf of the proponent for the purposes of enabling an application under the Land Use Planning and Approvals Act 1993 for a permit, in relation to a project, to be made by the proponent. A cable car proponent who has an Authority issued by the Minister does not require landowner consent, or a permit from the Trust under the Wellington Park Regulations 2019 to carry out the activities allowed in the Authority.