On 8-9 August, the Resource Management and Planning Appeals Tribunal heard the final two days of the Lake Malbena appeal. The Tribunal has reserved its decision. We expect a decision mid-September.
The environmentally-sensitive Tyndall Range has been announced as the site of Tasmania's "next iconic walk" development without any opportunity to publicly scrutinise alternatives. We also question the recreational rationale for the selection.
The Tourism Master Plan appears predicated on the assumption that the TWWHA exists as a resource for the tourism industry; that it needs to be ‘marketed’ and commercial tourism operators are essential in providing an experience for visitors.
A Development Application for the Dove Lake Viewing Shelter has been submitted to the Kentish Council. The proposal was previously subject to public consultation during the RAA process – the one minor but welcome outcome was the removal of the proposed kiosk - but the nature of the development is still highly inappropriate.
RMPAT heard this appeal from 24-28 June, and the hearing will resume on August 8-9 to hear further evidence and for the legal representatives to present closing submissions. At this stage, the best estimate we can give is that the Tribunal’s decision is likely to be handed down in early September.
The Tasmanian National Parks Association and others have joined as parties to the appeal. We strongly believe that Council's decision to refuse a permit to this development should be upheld by the Tribunal.
Over 200,000 ha was burnt this summer, including about 93,000 ha in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. A number of fire-sensitive areas have been seriously impacted or destroyed. Is this the new norm?
The Development Application for helicopter-accessed tourist accommodation at Lake Malbena, in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, was rejected by 6 votes to 3 at the Central Highlands Council meeting on 26th February 2019.
We welcome, in principle, commencement of work on the long-awaited Tourism Master Plan for the TWWHA but are concerned it will provide further endorsement of the state government’s policy of ‘unlocking’ the TWWHA and avoid any scrutiny of the many tourism proposals already being considered under the Expressions of Interest process.
There would be significant loss of wilderness character at Lake Malbena and in the surrounding country if the proposed helicopter-based tourism development proceeds.