Wild Drake Pty Ltd is still attempting to obtain federal government approval to construct its proposed helicopter-accessed lodge on Halls Island within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (see here). The proposal has already been refused by local government and no applications for state-level approval are current. (You can read the background to this proposal here.)
The latest round of consultation closed on 19 October 2022. Our comments concentrated on the deficiencies of the information published by the proponent (Wild Drake) including:
- understatement of the impact of the use of helicopters;
- misrepresentation of wilderness mapping methodology;
- misrepresentation of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan 2016; and
- the use of outdated, misleading, confusing and incomplete information.
The proponent (Wild Drake) is now required to give the federal environment agency a document including a “summary of the comments received and how those comments have been addressed”. The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC Act) requires that this is published as part of the process.
We are aware that a massive number of comments have been submitted so this is likely to take some while. In the interim, we will be contacting Environment Minister Plibersek to encourage her to scrutinise this assessment particularly carefully.