Investors are “literally lining up” to chip in funds for tourism infrastructure at Cradle Mountain.
That’s according to Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania chief executive Luke Martin, who joined state government representatives to launch construction of a $21.8 million ‘gateway precinct’ and Dove Lake development on Wednesday.
Turning of the sod coincided with the Liberals agreeing to match Labor’s commitment to put $30 million into a $70 million Cradle Mountain cableway.
Mr Martin said the announcement formed “a significant day of epic proportion”.
“It’s bipartisan, it’s happening, it’s not a hypothetical anymore we are full steam ahead for a cableway at Cradle,” Mr Martin said.
“There are investors literally lining up right now.”
Mr Hodgman said the Liberals would invest a further $5 million in working “sensitively” with private investors.
He said if a majority Liberal government was re-elected, an expressions of interest process would be launched within 100 days.
“We have some of the best tourist operators in the world in Tasmania and we’re very confident that they will be interested in supplementing the work of government,” Mr Hodgman said.
“There are obviously very significant planning approval processes that need to be followed through – these are sensitive project developments that requires the exceptional effort of the steering committee, the parks and wildlife service and the planning authority.”
Mr Hodgman said he would ensure Tasmanians received discounted tickets for the cableway.
Mr Martin said once new facilities were built, a community of full-time workers could bring back a sense of local culture.
“It’s not just for tourists and that’s something all Tasmanians care about,” Mr Martin said.
“If we can create this as a kind of village hub and have workers’ accommodation here and a pub and shop to make it feel more like a town, it will encourage Tasmanians to stay here for more than six weeks a year over the summer.”
The visitor centre forms part of a plan to create more car park space, improve visitor facilities and create shelter space at Dove Lake.