Cradle Mountain Cableway federal funding withdrawn

The Cradle Mountain Cableway proposal was part of the thought bubble called the 2016 Cradle Master Plan (see here). The cableway was presented as a gimmick to attract additional visitors. It did not appear viable and would have died a natural death if it hadn’t been for a federal government funding promise of $30 million (to be matched by the state government) in the context of the 2018 (federal) Braddon by-election.

The gimmick subsequently morphed into a “sustainable transport solution” which is apparently essential, despite data collected by the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service which shows that the vast majority of visitors are extremely satisfied with the existing shuttle bus service, and that there is potential to increase the capacity of the shuttle bus service if it is considered appropriate to pack even more visitors into Dove Lake which is already overcrowded at peak periods.

The state government has recently been advised by the federal government that the funding commitment (the $30 million) has been withdrawn since the Tasmanian Government failed to provide the required information by 28 April 2023.

The state government has been aware since February 2023 of the deadlines attached to the promised federal funding and the Transportation Study (business case) has been “a few months away” ever since 2018 so it is unclear how they managed to miss the deadline.

If there is an answer other than incompetence it is likely to relate to wrangling over the projected cost. This has trebled from the $60 million estimated in 2018 to $190 million! This alone should be enough to prevent its revival.

The TNPA will be encouraging the Federal Government to ignore current and future pleas for funding from the Tasmanian Government. This proposal would make a laughing stock of Cradle Mountain – people visit Tasmania’s national parks to experience wild nature not as a substitute for Disneyland.

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