With the release of Commonwealth Minister Sussan Ley's ‘Statement of Reasons’, for the first time, an Environment Minister has recognised that the Lake Malbena helicopter-accessed tourist development proposal will significantly and adversely impact threatened species, wilderness character and reduce natural and World Heritage values.
The Report by the Auditor-General into the state government’s EoI process criticises both the EoI process and the Parks and Wildlife Service’s Reserve Activity Assessment (RAA) process, most notably ‘(the) RAA is not geared to deal with more complex proposals received through EoI’.
Good news regarding the proposed helicopter-accessed tourism development at Lake Malbena from the Commonwealth Environment Minister Sussan Ley recently; “I have determined that the likely impacts to the unique values of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area warrant a formal assessment”.
BAD NEWS! The Supreme Court’s decision on the appeal by The Wilderness Society and ourselves, against the Planning Tribunal decision regarding the Lake Malbena development proposal, was handed down on 13th July. Neither of our grounds of appeal succeeded.
The proposal for a commercial hut (lodge) at Lake Rodway, below Cradle Mountain, has now reached the detailed planning stage. We are opposed to this proposal on the grounds of impacts on the natural environment and the experience of other users of the area, but in the event that the proposal proceeds, the hut and the proliferation of other facilities should be redesigned to minimise its footprint.
Together with other conservation groups, we have declined to participate in the consultation process on this Master Plan on the basis that it can only influence tourism policy within the parameters set by the TWWHA Management Plan and so does not represent a serious attempt to strike a considered balance between conservation and preservation.
Proposed walker infrastructure upgrades at the Walls of Jerusalem are overdue but PWS shows no sign of addressing the crucial associated issue of managing visitor numbers.
We have filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of Tasmania against the decision granting a permit to develop helicopter-accessed visitor accommodation at Halls Island, Lake Malbena.
RMPAT has issued a disappointing final decision today (18 Dec 2019) regarding the proposed Lake Malbena development. However, the battle is by no means lost. We will be carefully considering the Tribunal’s decision and will be taking advice with respect to our legal options.
The Tasmanian government has recently released, with little fanfare, a discussion paper entitled “Towards a Tourism Master Plan” (for the TWWHA). Aspects appear positive but the paper is general and our fundamental concerns cannot be allayed until we see the draft Tourism Master Plan itself, scheduled for public release and comment in March 2020.