No clear rationale for the proposed viewing shelter has been presented and it comprises one relatively minor component of the Cradle Mountain Master Plan without there having been any opportunity to express an opinion on the merits or otherwise of the overarching plan.
Planning should start with consideration of the experience to be provided for visitors and the options available to achieve this. Serious consideration must be given to options beyond simply upgrading infrastructure to cope with ever increasing visitor numbers.
With the referral of this development proposal to the Federal Minister for consideration under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act, the full scale of this proposed development has been revealed.
The stated reason for the proposed changes to the 2011 Management Plan is to facilitate an Expression of Interest proposal for a tourism venture centred on Tasman Island.
The proposed replacement hut at Lake Tahune is merely one component of a creeping upgrade of facilities at Frenchmans Cap being undertaken to date without any meaningful consultation with stakeholders.
Several aspects of the recent bushfires suggest that protection of rare and threatened fire-sensitive species was not effectively prioritised in the operational management of the 2016 firefighting efforts.
The government’s determination to facilitate private development within a national park with the absolute minimum of public involvement demonstrates its contempt for both the values of the national park and the concept of management planning.