Feature Article - Mt Wellington tower demolition
The demolition of the obsolete 104-metre steel lattice broadcasting tower on Mt Wellington in 1997 marked the end of the National Transmission Agency’s Hobart Tower Project. The tower was demolished by cutting through 2 of the supporting legs and pushing it over with an hydraulic ram. Rehabilitation of the site included removal of steel sections, return of the original soils and the planting of plants native to the summit (including Poa Grass and Helichrysum).
Construction of the old tower commenced in February 1959 on a one-hectare site owned by the Hobart City Council. ABC TV transmissions commenced from the tower in June 1960. Before decommissioning, the tower serviced ABC TV, FM radio, SBS and Southern Cross TV. As well as transmitting broadcast services to Hobart households, the facility transmitted to translators in the west, south and east for retransmission.
The planning to replace the tower began in 1991 after it was recognised that the weather conditions on Mt Wellington and the tower’s design would no longer accommodate planned additions to transmission services.
The new tower stands almost 131 metres high. It has 18 rock anchors installed in dolerite bedrock-some 15 metres deep. Above ground there is a 67-metre cast-concrete shaft below a 64-metre steel superstructure, which supports 3 broadcasting antennas and an internal lift. The steel superstructure and broadcasting antennae are covered with a fibreglass radome to shield the antennas from the weather.
The 3 antennas include:
- Band 1 antenna transmitting VHF TV for ABC on Channel 2;
- Band 11/111 antenna transmitting FM radio including SBS, ABC Classic and Triple J, 7HO and TTT; and
A section of the steel superstructure has also been set aside for use in radiocommunications services.
- Band 1V/V transmitting UHF TV for SBS and Southern Cross.