It’s one of the most recgonisable scenes in Tasmania, and even on a national scale it’s a big one for tourists.
But the introduction to Cradle Mountain is pretty second-rate.
The comparison between Cradle Mountain’s current visitor centre and a truck stop is pretty spot on.
In fact I’ve seen a few truck stops around the country which would leave the Cradle Mountain centrein theirwake quite comfortably.
As a first impression for visitors from around the globe, it’s pretty abysmal.
And quite rightly Cradle Mountain should be one of the major tourist drawcards for visitors from every corner of the earth.
If it was the truckstop crowd you weretargeting then it may not be a big deal. But at Cradle Mountain we should have something fitting of one of the State’s premier tourist attractions.
But the pace to make progressfor a new master plan to bring the visitor experience at Cradle Mountain into the 21st century,from some quarters, has been pedestrian to say the least.
This is despite a lot of work going into the creation of the Cradle Mountain Master Plan to provide a strong case for the overall project to take the experience to the next level.
It includes a major new visitor experience to welcome people, a major new commercial hub, a cable car to increase access to the park, and a new viewing centre on the shores of the iconic Dove Lake.
Despite a great amount of enthusiasm and praise for the plan, it appears to have all but stalled.
It was quite a contrast at the weekend to see the effusive support from our state and federalgovernments for the new proposal for Macquarie Point –a stone’s throw from central Hobart -compared to the glacial pace to act onCradle Mountain.
Standing alongside the brains trust from MONA, the government representatives were like a group of kids at Christmas.
But it was like getting blood from a stone to get the Turnbull Government behind the project at the Federal Election, with a paltry $1 million committed to further work to provide more paper to back the project.
Many other projects in the past have been given big buckets of Federal money in the past with a lot less on paper –one involving chocolate just north of the capital immediately springs to mind.
The Tasmanian Government has been more forthcoming from a funding point of view, but concerns were raised at the weekend when the Parks and Wildlife Service advertised for a project manager for the visitor centre.
The master plan for Cradle Mountain is a whole lot broader than just avisitor centre.
That’s why the weekend’s advertising raised a red flag with the tourism industry.
It needs to have the same sort of entrepreneurial input as Macquarie Point and other key projects in the state.
Getting it right at Cradle Mountain is a once in a generation opportunity for the North-West of the state.
It will hopefully give the region a new lease on life and drive a spike in tourism like MONA has done for the south of the state.
Not everyone can be lucky enough to have the vision and commitment of David Walsh.
Which is why a clear commitment from both governments is critical.
The Federal Government needs to rethink its reluctant approach, while their state colleagues need to quickly lift its status within the halls of power.
Too much has happened to let it stagnate.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.