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A New Cableway Up Tasmania’s Mount Roland Might Finally Go Ahead

Tourism has taken a big hit due to the pandemic, and Tasmania has felt the brunt of it, having its borders closed to most of the mainland for the better half of 18 months. Small towns around Tasmania that rely on tourists heading to the pristine parts of the state have been nowhere to be seen, and it’s been tough.

One such town is Sheffield, a small town filled with historic stores 20km south of the port town of Devonport. Sheffield sits in the shade of the enormous and picturesque Mount Roland, and after years of proposals, there are renewed calls for a cableway to be built up the mountain to help draw in tourists.

Sheffield is a great place to stop if you’re heading to Cradle Mountain from Launceston, especially for a pie, or an ice cream.

The proposed cableway will feature 13 gondolas, along with an adventure precinct. Not only will the project bring tourists to the area, but it will also create 12 to 17 new full-time jobs in the region. The plan also includes ideas to build an international grade mountain bike park.

“I think there are more people now seeing that it would be a good goer,” local Des Brown told ABC News.

“We’ve demonstrated right across the world that you can do these things sensibly and sustainably.”

However, Mount Roland is a sacred site for the local aboriginal community. And the Six Rivers Aboriginal Corporation would prefer the cableway idea was ruled out entirely.

“It’s been on-and-off discussion for many years now. I like when it’s off and not on,” Dave mangenner Gough, a local Aboriginal man and chair of Six Rivers Aboriginal Corporation, told ABC News.

“I’m surprised that it never seems to go to rest, it seems to be just a few people that want to drive this idea and concept which is such an outdated and inappropriate thing for today.

“The government needs to … be aware that this is something that will drain money, it’ll drain resources and it’ll impact people with no positive outcome.”

Read more about this story on ABC News.

About Sheffield:

Sheffield is a town 23 kilometres inland from Devonport on the north-west coast of Tasmania. Sheffield has long been the rural hub for the Mount Roland area. The Sheffield area is well known for its high quality butterfat production via dairy farming. The area is suitable for lamb and beef production. The town of Railton is nearby. At the 2016 census, Sheffield had a population of 1,552.[1]

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