The Liveable Hobart Group (LHG) has followed the controversy and community concern surrounding tourism and its impact on Greater Hobart with a keen interest. After extensive industry consultation and community research, including consideration of the Hobart Community Vision which encapsulates well over 1000 contributions from community members and stakeholders across Greater Hobart, today we announce a tourism vision for the future that is practical, inclusive and above all achievable.
“It is time for the hysterical rhetoric to stop. Council must get on with the job and work with tourism operators, the community and the State government to build a city that retains a sense of place and balances local community needs with those of visitors and investors”, said Damon Thomas the LHG Lord Mayoral candidate. “We do not need to build a wall or stop the boats to keep tourists out. The future is about having the welcome mat out, not building a wall. We must continue to invite visitors and tourists to enjoy our city and recognise their important contribution to city life.”
“Tourism is about more than the dollars and jobs. Visitors and tourists make a vital contribution to the arts and our culture and to our community. Let’s acknowledge and celebrate the cultural diversity and the new ideas and new attitudes that come from new people in our midst, however short their time with us.”
The LHG tourism platform endorses sensible, planned tourism where visitors and tourists are encouraged to respect our city, encouraged to take the time to visit our attractions and appreciate our unique landscape and lifestyle. “It goes without saying that increased tourism numbers must be matched with increased planning and collaboration. That’s how we will ensure we do not have three super cruise liners in port on the same day. It’s about common sense and balance, not building walls”.
- Visitor Economy Committee
We commit to establish a dedicated Council ‘Visitor Economy Committee’ to strategically progress Council’s significant investment in tourism and the visitor economy, and improve engagement with the City’s tourism industry and stakeholders. We will work more closely with the Tourism Industry, the Tourism Industry Council, Tourism Tasmania and tourism operators.
- Support for the Mt Wellington / kunanyi Cable Car
The LHG position is straight forward, we will give people with the courage and conviction the chance to lay their ideas on the table. We state categorically that any proponent who needs to include Council land in a development application should be given land owner consent to facilitate a development application to come before the Council. It’s about giving a fair go to allow plans to be developed and the community to be consulted.
- Cruise ship trade
Is it an invasion or a case of the need to improve ship selection and scheduling? There is no doubt that three mass ships disgorging twenty thousand passengers in a single day is not sustainable. LHG commits to working closely with TasPorts and the State Government to strengthen Hobart’s reputation as a premium cruising destination by prioritising smaller and higher yielding ships in preference to larger mass ships.
- Visitor Accommodation
LHG endorses, in full, the recommendations contained in the Hobart Community Vision to balance local needs with those of visitors and investors.
We support managing visitor accommodation so that it does not negatively affect or infringe on the availability of longer term housing or reduce neighbourhood safety or cohesion.
- Reimagining Castray Point
We support the vision to reimagine the Castray Esplanade site as a mixed-use public space, following the relocation of the CSIRO to the Macquarie Point as part of the proposed international Antarctic Precinct.
- New approach to the Taste of Tasmania
The Taste of Tasmania has been a major drawcard to the city and to Tasmania and Council has made a significant contribution to its success. After almost 30 years, LHG now supports a strategy for Council to gradually divest itself of direct responsibility for the Taste of Tasmania and set the event up to prosper into the long-term. This should include the establishment of a skills-based board to run the event, and a funding sponsorship arrangement between the Council and event organisers that ensures the event can transition over time to a less Council dependent financial model.
- Support for Dark Mofo
Let’s ensure the lights remain on in winter. The Dark Mofo festival has reimagined the Tasmanian winter landscape and LHG commits to supporting ongoing Council funding for Dark Mofo as Tasmania’s premier mid-winter event.
- Dunn Street Car Park
LHG believes that it is possible to create an exciting new Arts precinct by better utilising the Dunn St Car Park waterfront space and we commit to working with the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery and the State Government to scope the possibility of using the space to create increased space for visiting exhibitions.
- Clear position on height limits
Discretionary or non-discretionary height limits, with known and publicly available maximum heights, are needed now. LHG supports the position that the Council resolve its position once and for all, and enforce it to end uncertainty in the investment market.
- New Hobart Visitor Information Centre
The Hobart Visitor Information Centre is bursting at the seams and LHG endorses its extension and relocation to a contemporary facility in a central, strategic location possibly on the waterfront. The LHG group see this as a major initiative for the region that requires Council’s investment and championing Council as the operator of the centre.
- Ongoing support for Destination Southern Tasmania
Destination Southern Tasmania’s (DST) role in coordinating tourism activities across the Southern Tasmania region will be more critical over coming years. As the capital city and major tourism drawcard, Hobart’s support for DST is critical and LHG recognises that contribution.
Singly or as an aligned combination all of the above actions are sensible, progressive steps which rather than kill off sustainable tourism ensures a balance and a sensible way forward involving the whole tourism industry and our broader community.
- A consultative approach is essential
The LHG approach is consultative and informed. We undertake to work closely with the tourism industry and the broad community and with the State Government and its agencies to create and implement city focussed outcomes which sustain a vibrant tourism industry. We will ensure that as we increase value added tourism, we will ensure what makes Hobart special is respected, maintained and enhanced.