The Cradle Mountain cable car project would receive up to $30 million of funding should the Labor Party win the next state election
Labor leader Rebecca White announced the funding commitment on Sunday and said it demonstrated a Labor government would “finish the projects vital for the economic future of Tasmania”.
“This is a really important investment to announce because it's about creating jobs here on the North-West Coast but also enhancing that beautiful icon that's part of our tourism brand,” Ms White said.
The cable car would connect the Cradle Mountain visitor centre to Dove Lake and is expected to create 150 jobs during construction and 50 jobs once operational.
It’s one of several projects identified in the $160 million Cradle Mountain MasterPlan, which is expected to attract an additional 60,000 visitors once completed.
The construction of the cable car would require the Commonwealth Government to chip in another $30 million, however, Ms White said she was confident that money could be secured.
During the 2016 election, federal Labor leader Bill Shorten pledged $15 million towards the Cradle Mountain MasterPlan while the Liberals pledged $1 million for a feasibility study.
At a state level, however, the Liberals have already provided $21.8 million to another part of the MasterPlan: a new visitors centre.
Deputy Premier Jeremy Rockliff said the government was delivering on Cradle Mountain, not just making “false promises, which the Labor party tends to do”.
“We recognise the iconic value of Cradle Mountain and we recognise as well the need to upgrade and improve the infrastructure and that’s exactly what we’re doing,” Mr Rockliff said.
Labor’s funding commitment was welcomed by Cradle Coast Authority CEO Brett Smith, who said research suggested the Cradle Mountain MasterPlan would have an economic benefit of $20 million.
“We are fortunate to have this world-famous icon in our backyard, so we need to ensure we attract the investment to showcase it in a sensitive way for the visitors that come to appreciate it and the region,” he said.
The cable car funding pledge was announced at Labor’s launch event for its Braddon candidates: current MHA Shane Broad, former Burnie mayor Anita Dow, UTAS Cradle Coast campus general manager Danielle Kidd, Burnie GP Themba Bulle and Devonport teacher Wayne Roberts.
Dennis Mullins, Australian Services Union heavyweight and Labor's sixth Braddon candidate, has pulled out of the race.
Ms White said health was the number one issue for Tasmanians and Labor had a plan “to invest in health services and restore confidence in our health system”.
She said Labor had fully costed plans to invest in three areas: preventative healthcare, reducing bed lock and ambulance services.