The city of Hobart is sold as a quaint green spot of artisanal wonder. And maybe it is. But it's also a factory town. The entire layout of greater Hobart has, in one way or another, been informed by the establishment of a factory. The Electrolytic Zinc Company of Australasia chose their site at Lutana in 1916 because it was on the Derwent River and the land was cheaply available. What the location didn't have though was lots of electricity. Smelting zinc requires huge voltage. So much so that specific high tension transmissions lines were eventually hung across urban areas just to service it. These ugly grey cables alone have come in a way to define Hobart, acting like a subliminal electric fence, dividing the haves from the have nots. In short, high real estate values end at this line and low incomes really start to kick in. It's not a hard line but a dotted one with bleeding on each side, just north is perhaps the best girls only public school in Tasmania and just south is the Kmart shopping centre where overly burdened young mothers smoke cigarettes and scream at the their Monster Energy swilling defactos.
Cities need such locations but had the zinc works not been built and the toxic pollution never allowed to pour directly into the river Hobart would have likely chosen to continue building the nice suburbs further north beneath the foothills of Mt Wellington, daisy chaining all the way up the river to New Norfolk (an already well established location in 1916). Instead they retreated south, building around Kingston. Lutana itself has residential homes across it but this is mostly due to the zinc works initially building homes there to house their employees. The neighbouring suburbs of Moonah, Derwent Park, and Glenorchy are now firmly set light industrial zones.The Tasmanians of 1916 had no idea what Hobart would be like a century later. And even if they had they may have still made the same choice. The zinc works is a dirty stinking eyesore but it is also valuable contributor to the economy and here to stay. But so to is the electric division. You can see it in the sky and feel it on the ground.