Bumps ahead for zipline : mapping data appears to cast doubt on BCC clearing claims

TOPOGRAPHICAL data of Mt Coot-tha has revealed two hills right in the middle of the route of what is proposed to be, by far, the longest zipline in Australia.

Council's preferred tenderer, Zipline Australia, plans to build a megazipline from near the Summit Lookout to the botanic gardens.

But State Government topographic data shows two hills about halfway along the 1158m-long main span.

An engineering report seen by Westside News calculates that sagging of the six parallel cables would cause them to closely follow the ground contours, so they would run through the forest rather than above it for most of the span.

That would necessitate removing or trimming hundrds of trees and the cables would come very close to the tops of the two hills.

The only ways to avoid mass tree clearing or trimming would be to use extremely high tension in the cables or to build very high launch and landing structures, blocking views from the Summit Lookout. The main span could also be divided into one or two stages.

But that approach would mean customers would have to be unclipped, and clipped back on, at "stations", hindering the high-speed thrill factor of the ride.

Greens MP for Maiwar, Michael Berkman, said Council had revealed very little detail on the project, including tree clearing.

"If there's substantial clearing required, that could explain their reluctance to release more detail and the delays in Council filing the development application (to itself)," he said.

Council Environment, Parks and Sustainability chairman David McLachlan said the zipline design was still being finalised, but it would meet stringent environmental conditions.

"The detailed design of the zipline will be released when the development application is finalised and lodged. However, the megazip won't result in any tree clearing underneath the zipline spans because the megazip will travel above the canopy of the trees," Cr McLachlan said.

Westside News. 11/7/2018

Brendan O'Malley

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