MONA shelves plans for new hotel and conference facilities

Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) has abandoned its ambitious plans for a $400 million expansion.

The development plans unveiled in 2018 included a new 172-room hotel, casino, conference centre, theatre and outdoor stage. But the development has been shelved for now, according to a spokesperson, who added that founder David Walsh “still intends to build a hotel one day”.

Walsh also announced that it will be mandatory for all staff to be fully vaccinated against Covid.

“When you go to work unvaccinated there’s a small chance you’ll get COVID and an even smaller chance you’ll die,” he wrote in a note to staff.

“But each time you take that risk there is a small chance you’ll kill someone else (and) that’s not okay.”

Walsh compared a vaccine mandate to traffic lights, saying they were both forced interventions that saved lives.