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After 117 years and three attempts by previous proponents, the Mount Wellington Cableway Company (MWCC) is proud to have unraveled the prohibitive red tape one by one to bring the dream to the cusp of reality.
Consistent with our founding principles from 2012, our proposal has been built from the ground up upon community input and feedback, each step of the way through Phases 1 to 4. Whilst this unorthodox approach is almost unheard of in the property development industry, we believe it is a moral obligation for any private investment on public land. This ethos continues today.
As promised at our Proposal Launch in 2014, we present the details of our Development Application - prior to formal submission - for public feedback. Your input will help our team make final design refinements before we lodge our plans for council approval.
We encourage all feedback.
Please study the content below, share with friends and submit your opinion using the final form before September 30.
Measuring 1000 metres of incline, our Proposal offers the tallest cable car in the Southern Hemisphere. Passengers will be lifted over tall Tasmanian hardwood regrowth eucalyptus forest, silently gliding across the lush and seasonal canopy of Myrtle Gully and ascending over rocky screes as the dense forest below morphs into alpine country.
Ahead, the sheer dolerite columns of the Organ Pipes, a natural cliff some 140 metres high loom large. The Skytram effortlessly rises to the challenge, offering a silent, awe-inspiring ascension over the precipice to reveal the summit beyond.
Modern Aerial Tramways are well-suited for windy environments and long-spans between towers. On kunanyi / Mount Wellington, both Skytrams are secured by three cables, or 'ropes' - two Track ropes for stability and one Haul rope for propulsion. This allows for reliable operation even in windy conditions, up to our comfort threshold.
There is no motor on board (as the haul rope is controlled at the base station) which allows for a very quiet experience for all mountain visitors.
Counterbalanced and synchronised, both trams are fixed to the same haul rope. This means one tram arrives at the summit as the other returns to the base-station. Offering the most energy-efficient way to scale height, the weight of the descending tram helps pull up the ascending one and, at the end of each day as more visitors leave the mountain, net energy gain helps offset our energy usage.
Each Skytram is staffed by a fully-trained Cabin Master, who, as tour guide have the important role of ensuring visitors feel welcome and leave knowing more of the mountain's story.
At 6.9 x 3.9 metres, the cabins are spacious enough for school and tour groups, weddings and special events. These cabins have been specially designed for MWCC. Featuring an outdoor balcony that always faces the city views, flush-floor loading and floor-to-ceiling glass, the journey itself is set to a memorable, family-friendly experience for all visitors, of all ages and ability.
The size of our Proposed Skytram allows us to supply the Pinnacle Centre with all its water, gas and catering needs to operate - even when the road is closed due to snow or ice. At the end of each day, all waste, recycling and even sewerage tanks are ferried via the Skytrams to our loading bay at the bottom for proper treatment off the mountain. This avoids the need for septic tanks at the summit.
The cableway will not carry any electricity to the summit. This means there is no requirement for a cleared vegetation easement, or 'scar' below the Skytrams. Independently, a bushfire assessment report has confirmed that no 'scar' is required.
MWCC will operate on seasonally adjusted hours and only when wind conditions are below threshold and the park is not closed due to extreme fire danger. At top speed, the Skytrams can ascend and descend in just under six minutes, providing rapid evacuation and provision for emergency services if and when required. In addition, the system itself will have a novel evac system should both the electric and backup motors fail for an extended period of time.
Our Proposed Pinnacle Centre sits within the Wellington Park Pinnacle Zone Specific Area. This zone covers the summit of the mountain and allows for telecommunication infrastructure, commercial activities, transport depots and visitor services.
MWCC proposes a wholistic visitor centre solution with a balanced mix of public amenity (39%), hospitality (29%) and service infrastructure (32%), and introduces new amenities such as a Park Ranger office, medical room, seating, security, waste management and parenting rooms for young families.
Whilst the bulk of visitors are likely to arrive by cableway, we propose to build a new non-slip elevated and ramped boardwalk, with lookouts and points of interest between the Pinnacle Centre and existing carpark. This allows for the removal of the existing non-compliant, restrictive timber walkways.
Our Proposed Base Station nestles in a lush, tranquil yet previously deformed clearing on the Main Fire Trail on the fringe of Wellington Park, in a precinct that once was host to secret cabins and weekend retreats. This area was the primary walking route up the mountain long before the road. Our proposal recreates this gateway into Wellington Park with an ideal hub to integrate with new and existing walking and mountain bike trails.
Discreetly positioned to minimise vegetation clearing and maximise bushfire management, it will host the cableway motor room, backup generator, loading bay and service utilities, as well our front ticket office, mountain bike hire and staff amenities.
Our proposal seeks to install a new road from McRobies Road, installing underground services such as sewer, reticulated water, NBN and power for safer bushfire management.
Our Preliminary Proposal launched in 2014 stretched two cableway systems 4.6km from the Cascade Brewery.
Whilst public feedback was overwhelmingly supportive, a year later the Hobart City Council rezoned a section of bushland behind Cascade Brewery with a non-negotiable, hard-coded height limit. This was formalised as part of Hobart Interim Planning Scheme in November 2015. This rezoning made it near impossible to continue with the original alignment above the forest canopy, without the whole project being classified as a Project of State Significance or seeking a planning scheme amendment. A clear way forward was not resolvable until project-specific legislation - formally supported by over 5300 Tasmanian petitioners - was approved by both Houses of Parliament in October 2017.
After the Cable Car Facilitation Act 2017 became law, the project was enabled for components within Wellington Park. We sought and received final and definitive advice on the time, cost and likely outcome of an amendment to the Hobart Interim Planning Scheme for any part of the project outside the Park. In 2018, the Pre-Operational Board resolved to investigate a shorter, simpler alternative that keeps the entire project contained within Wellington Park. Once the technical suitability was confirmed by our engineers in Switzerland, we consulted with every resident such a change could mostly affect before we made a final determination to pursue this more achievable plan in June 2018.
Our revised cableway length is 2.7km which retains a height gain of nearly 1000 metres. Rather than two separate systems, this shorter alignment allows us to honour all of our voluntarily adopted community parameters with just one custom-designed straight-line system tailored made for kunanyi / Mount Wellington. Not only does this shortened alignment afford us a larger budget to spend on much-needed amenities at the summit, it removes potential issues from the planning approval process.
Rather than many more years of uncertainty and delay, the project is ready and approval-able, now.
Tasmania's third most popular visitor attraction has been neglected for too long. No longer is it acceptable than anyone with a wheelchair, walking frame, pram or stroller be denied access, yet that is what greets less-agile visitors wanting to experience the view.
We propose to remove and rehabilitate the existing timber & chicken-mesh walkways and replace this with fully-ramped and safer, non-slip boardwalk designed for the alpine environment. This new boardwalk will feature curious viewpoints and interpretation whilst meandering above the fragile flora and fauna to connect our Pinnacle Centre with the summit car park.
The rooftop of the proposed Pinnacle Centre will be the new public lookout, with ample space and opportunity for all ages and abilities to enjoy the view. The traffic-able, non-slip surface will be heated with a hydronic system to deter snow build-up, with multiple viewpoints and seating to invoke contemplation and soak up the vista.
Clever balustrading to mitigate snow-farming with a heated hand-rail, and opportunities for curious interpretation completes the public space, surrounded by native alpine gardens to the rooftop edge.
The existing shelter is closed overnight from before dusk to well after dawn. Extended closing hours through winter means there is next to no refuge from the elements for much of the year when avid sunrise photographers, Aurora spectators and stargazers want to be up there.
Our proposal includes a glass 'prism' on the rooftop, providing public shelter year round, whilst stairway and lift access inside the prism to the building below is locked overnight.
A key request in our design brief, we are delighted to include a wind-sheltered, rooftop amphitheatre that celebrates the vista beyond. For general public use and community events, this space can be booked for concerts, weddings and school excursions, or just an ideal spot to pull out the thermos, set up the family picnic and admire the city views after a great day out on the mountain.
Despite the Council spending half a million dollars on 8 new public toilets at the summit in 2014, any quick glance at visitor feedback on TripAdvisor will quickly reveal how inadequate and smelly they can be.
Our Proposal includes 34 new toilets including 5 disabled facilities and a parenting room for young families. These are conveniently located throughout the Pinnacle Centre from the cableway platform to the cafe.
On-site staff at the pinnacle brings a wealth of benefits for its visitors and the environment. From improved security and better waste management to reduce littering, our proposal also includes a medical specialist on call for any unforeseen circumstances.
Free public WiFi will also be available throughout the visitor centre.
In addition to the outdoor amphitheatre, our Proposal offers something entirely new for the pinnacle. A space of solitude. silence. contemplation.
Facing true south to beautifully frame the South Wellington range 'Iron Filings', this Sanctum to the Mountain is a refreshing, ceremonial atmosphere tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the cableway terminal, cafe and scenic-loving crowds.
Starting from the moment you walk in from the cableway platform, stories from the mountain's billion year old geological decay, the aboriginal values, colonial resource extraction and the modern day balance of recreation and conservation will abound.
MWCC will seek to collaborate with some of Tasmania's finest artists and story tellers to ensure this becomes a highlight - a curious, educational journey for any visit to the mountain.
Shared use trails are not working. Both bushwalkers and bike riders share with us their constant frustration at the current situation; their outdoor experience is diminished by levels of anxiety and risk on shared trails.
In response, MWCC will fund the development of new and dedicated MTB downhill gravity-assisted trails that link together a workable and exciting network, freeing up walking trails - for bushwalkers. Our first new trail will connect the Pinnacle Centre platform to Pinnacle Road towards Big Bend. Additional trails, including an epic downhill trail connecting the Chalet to Junction Cabin, will be added once operational.
To date, local hang-gliding and paragliding enthusiasts haven't had a formal or permanent place to launch, having to negotiate rocks, peg tarpaulins down over vegetation or clear specific areas to improve safety and reduce the risk of ripped sails. In addition, the logistics of attempting a second back-to-back flight during favourable conditions has usually required the assistance of friends or family.
With a dedicated summit ramp and fast return via cableway, we're keen to make this mind-blowing pursuit safer and more environmentally friendly. It would be great to foster a flight school and tandem tour operator to setup shop too. Park. Fly. Repeat. Enjoy!
'Family fun in the snow' rated extremely highly in the 2200+ responses received through our Local Values and Opinions Survey conducted in 2013. Since then, we've met with local snowboarding groups and enthusiasts to ascertain what facilities, infrastructure or assistance we could provide to encourage stronger active use of the Mountain's winter months.
In response, we're providing:
Whilst no new dedicated facilities are proposed for rock-climbers, our Proposal is designed to ensure this adventurous community can continue to access and enjoy the mountain, with only the added benefit of easier access for emergency rescue should the need arise.
Notably, MWCC pledges to adopt the same protocol as Cape Town's Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Co. whereby our cables will not be externally greased. Whilst this increases the maintenance cycle for our cableway it is a sensible move and one that is welcomed in Cape Town by the local and international rock climbing community.
Hot Chocolates. Barista coffee. Wood-fired pizza - Just some of the hearty menu items you'll find in our cosy, modern alpine cafe in the Pinnacle Centre.
Featuring spectacular views with nooks for families, groups or lone travellers, the cafe will operate year-round. A communal walk-around fireplace is set to become a focal point when the summit is snowed-in, whilst patrons can soak up the summer rays on a wind-sheltered alfresco deck and watch paragliders launch from their ramp nearby.
Showcasing the finest selection of Tasmanian wine, whiskey, gin, beer and cider, our proposed Craft Bar will be a connoisseirs delight.
A tantalising alpine bar featuring Tasmanian timbers with unforgettable views to the Iron Pot and South Wellington range. A roaring open fire, knowledgeable Sommeliers, locally-made designer furniture and a grand piano. All the ingredients to celebrate that special occasion, a tempting pre-dinner drink, watching the snowflakes float by or a nightcap to linger a little longer until the last Skytram descends for the night.
Extending from the Craft Bar, we propose a fine-dining restaurant to rival the most renowned in Australia with arguably the most spectacular view.
The restaurant, its event planner, chefs and staff can be booked for private functions such as weddings, community, sporting or corporate events with a seating capacity of 140 (round tables of 10), expanding up to 200 if the Craft Bar & Lounge is hired as well.
A magical place to pop the question!
PLEASE NOTE: ELEVATIONS ARE 2-DIMENSIONAL. KEEP SCROLLING TO SEE TRUE VISUALISATIONS FROM AROUND HOBART.
Constructability and Materiality have been just as important for the team to consider as has been planning the functional layout, circulation, compliance, acoustics, lighting, heating and atmosphere of the proposed Pinnacle Centre.
Shown here is a cross-section detailing the use of natural local stone from the site for the building's pedestal base, as well as the tailor-made, weathered steel facade proposed for the bulk of the concrete and fire-proof shell.
In case of sudden, unexpected and catastrophic fire danger, the building is designed to act as a safe refuge for all mountain visitors - a marked improvement on the status quo.
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INSTRUCTIONS: Simply click and drag the white slider on each image left and right to discover the difference.
* Subject to Council Agreement to dismantle the existing Observation Shelter
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With a significant reduction in road traffic up the mountain (59.6% high scenario, 42.4% low), not only can our native wildlife catch a break, we believe the lifespan of the 80 year old road can be extended. This avoids the costly and unsightly widening that would otherwise need to occur without our sustainable transport solution, (It has taken 50 years of regrowth to hide the road scar) and less pressure on emergency services.
Less traffic also means up to 700 tonnes* less carbon emissions in the Park, whilst offering a safer road and quieter experience for families of all ages, bird-watchers, bushwalkers and bikers.
With more visitors from less vehicles, the likely forecasted impacts are shown below:
Cascade Road is the artery of South Hobart, currently serving nearly 3.1 million vehicle trips each year, which currently carries only half of its built capacity at peak times.
Weekends on Cascade Road are significantly quieter and this is when we expect to be our busiest. We also propose to operate slightly different hours between Summer and Winter, providing four operating models throughout the year.
On weekdays, we propose to only open after the morning rush hour of 8 - 9am.
We also propose to incentive customers to use our regular shuttle service from the waterfront, reducing the number of cars further. In total, we expect an annualised average of 1 extra vehicle trip (either way) every 79 seconds during open hours.
NOTE: All Pre-DA traffic modelling and opening hours are subject to change and provided for general information purposes only.
Included in the Proposal is a new link road from the roundabout at the end of McRobies Road (before the tip gate) to our proposed Base Terminal. This link road will be an S4 class sealed rural road and is designed to follow existing 4WD/fire trails where practical. It joins the Main Fire Trail and the high-voltage transmission lines at the boundary of Wellington Park.
One of the final tasks to do before we can submit our Development Application is to conduct an ecology assessment of this corridor. Permission to access this land to do this study has been requested of the Hobart City Council.
MWCC has listened to local residents about their existing traffic issues on Cascade Road. In response, MWCC propose a new T-Junction for Cascade Road where the existing one-way slip lane turn-off to McRobies Road is upgraded to cater for two-way traffic. MWCC commissioned civil engineers to investigate and verify this proposal is a practical and achievable solution within the existing road easement, which will divert all current tip traffic away from the Female Factory Historic Site as well as residential properties in Degraves and narrow Apsley Streets.
It also provides new traffic-calming measures for the Rivulet Track and off-street parking for residents.
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* Carbon emissions were calculated based on 12 month traffic data collected 2009-2011 on Pinnacle Road and FCAI emissions data assuming every vehicle (motorbikes up to minivans) is a standard 2013 model unleaded small car. This was measured on the difference in distance from the common juncture of Southern Outlet/Davey St intersection to both Cascades versus the Pinnacle. This provided a total result in excess of 1100 tonnes per annum on 2011 traffic visitation data. Significant increases in traffic since 2011 and slightly more efficient vehicle data from FCAI are yet to be modelled.
So there it is; the Full Proposal - based on your important input from 2013 - resolved and ready for Council Approval (pending final site investigations).
BUT before we submit for formal assessment, we want to hear your thoughts to determine if and what refinements our architectural team may still need to make.
PUBLIC FEEDBACK ON THE FULL PROPOSAL IS NOW CLOSED. (October 1)
Over 8,000 Tasmanians formally responded during August and September to our call for feedback. From all of us at MWCC, we are so grateful for your time, honesty and considered thoughts to help us improve the design prior to lodging a planning application.
If you missed out on the opportunity to have your say, or would like to learn more about the project, come visit the Public Display Centre at Brooke St Pier. We’re open 10am-6pm 7 days a week till November 5. If you’d like to book a time to speak with one of our team please call 1300 800 854.
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