Towering high above Hobart, Mount Wellington is the city’s highest point.
It can be seen from the harbour to the suburbs and many places in between.
Developer Adrian Bold believes the site is a missed opportunity for tourism and investment.
He is behind a controversial proposal to build a cable car on the mountain.
“The vision for the project really is to open up better access, better enjoyment and better appreciation for Mount Wellington,” he said.
The plan, which is yet to be approved by council, has attracted international investors and support from the incoming state government.
Recently elected Liberal leader Will Hodgman hopes it will be a boon for tourism, helping the state increase visitor numbers by more than half a million tourists per year by 2020.
There’s also the promise of construction jobs and a boost to the local economy.
“There are a few hundred jobs through the construction phase that will be required,” said Mr Bold.
“There’s experts and engineers and technicians that need to come over here from Austria and Germany and live here for about a year while the project is getting constructed.”
Many locals, including more than 11,000 fans of the Mount Wellington Cable Company on Facebook, are eager to see it happen.
However, the project also faces significant opposition, particularly from environmental groups and some Indigenous communities.
Ruth Langford from the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre is among those strongly opposed to the plan.
“Any form of scarring of this magnificent, deeply important, deeply powerful landscape, it’s very concerning,” she said.
Ms Langford said she is disappointed by a lack of consultation in the early stages of planning.
“They’re not in opposition, caring for country and development.
“We believe that when we’re actually participating in the process, we can actually give clear guidance of how best to do that.”
Around 300 locals have also banded together to voice their opposition to the plan.
Jason Turvey, spokesperson for ‘Respect the Mountain – No Cable Car’ says the group is formed from a number of community groups, many of whom support development at a lower mountain site known as The Springs, rather than a cable car running to the summit.
“The Springs is the ideal place from which to access all parts of the mountain,” he said in a press release.
“The trouble with a cable car is it’s a classic case of putting the cart before the horse. The MWCC have come along with ideas to build a cable car, and now they need to justify why one is needed in the first place.”
Adrian Bold said the Mount Wellington Cable Company reached out to numerous community groups during the research stage of their development, including Indigenous groups.
“We went through quite a process looking at the economic feasibility [and the] social impacts,” he said, adding that the company is still willing to hear concerns.
He also insists the development will respect the Indigenous history of the land.
“There’s a lot of information and many stories that people would be really willing to find out about, but there’s a severe lack of understanding, a severe lack of interpretation available to the tourism market and to the local population which we would like to address.”
The project is also opposed by some environmentalists. The Tasmanian Greens recently outlined an alternative concept for a $5 million walking track, linking the mountain with the city centre.
The idea of a cable car ferrying passengers to Hobart’s highest point is not new – it was first proposed by locals more than 100 years ago.
Adrian Bold’s proposal is the fourth attempt to bring the project to life.
A public display will open next month in Hobart.