So I read the rest of the article rather curiously to see where the author and I differed so markedly. Now firstly I have to admit to ignorance of the exact figures around how much construction and running of the track costs, so I was pretty blown away by Mcglone’s statement that, “Although it costs $500 to do the walk, walker fees will not cover the full cost incurred by the PWS to operate the 3CT, and contribute nothing to the maintenance.”
So what is the cost to operate the walk and who is it paid to? I looked for some more elaboration or detail in the article and none was forthcoming, as it quickly skipped to attacking the walk on a range of other fronts including the environmental impact and lack on handrails near Cape Huay.
It was at this point I started to get a little suspicious and looked the bottom where it noted that the author was the spokesman for the Tasmanian Conservation Trust, which did nothing to reassure me that these figures were faithfully rendered. I should point out that I am also a great lover of Tasmania’s beautiful wilderness and do not mean to imply there is anything wrong with being a conservationist. However when the author’s agenda is very clear and he fails to give any figures to back up his statement, I start to wonder about statements like the one above.
I would hope, for example, that the above statement does not include the construction costs of the project, which no doubt are intended to be recouped over a period of years. If I buy a solar panel for my house I would also not expect it to pay for itself instantly. That is what happens when we build new infrastructure. But if he is not counting this, I can’t see where the
But if it doesn’t, I can’t understand where the costs McGlone is talking about are going.
Even if his statement is entirely accurate and, “This means that Tasmanian taxpayers, via the PWS budget, will be subsidising your walk, when many of us will not be able to afford the fee,” McGlone also fails to consider the additional benefit to those same Tasmanian tax payers of employment and economic stimulus in the area and having another world class ecotourism attraction that draws visitors from around the world who spend money throughout Tasmania. I don’t go to Launceston to watch Hawthorn play footy, but I have grudgingly admitted that the benefits to the state economy still mean I get a benefit from the money our state government pays them.
As a broad ranging criticism, I couldn’t really see any suggestions for how to improve the situation. I wasn’t sure if he thought track costs should be higher or lower and whether it should be more or less accessible to the public. The only thing that was clear was that no similar developments should go ahead, but considering he speaks for the Tasmanian Conservation Trust, that part could almost be assumed anyway.