The Central Highland Council’s refusal to grant a permit for the proposed helicopter-accessed tourist accommodation at Lake Malbena was not the end of this development. The proponent Daniel Hackett (in the name of his business ‘Wild Drake’) has appealed this decision to the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal (RMPAT).
RMPAT heard this appeal from 24-28 June, and the hearing will resume on August 8-9 to hear further evidence about wedge-tailed eagles and for the legal representatives to present closing submissions. The purpose of closing submissions is to make legal arguments about how the Tribunal should make its decision having regard to the evidence before it and the law to be applied.
While this matter is before the Tribunal, we are constrained from providing commentary on its progress. We are satisfied with how it has proceeded so far. The Tribunal has heard from our expert witnesses and will hear legal argument from our barrister when the hearing resumes. In combination, the Central Highlands Council and the joined parties called expert witnesses on planning, wilderness, ecology, eagles, aviation, and acoustics.
At this stage, the best estimate we can give is that the Tribunal’s decision is likely to be handed down in early September.
We note that Mr Hackett last week publicly made allegations of threats against him and damage to his property. The TNPA would like to emphasise that its concern is with Mr Hackett’s proposed development at Lake Malbena, not with Mr Hackett. TNPA is pursuing its concerns through the proper process, which is the appeal currently before RMPAT.
For background information on this issue, see here.
Pictured, the team associated with our Lake Malbena Appeal: Front, Claire Bookless (EDO-Tas), Juliet Forsyth SC, Nicole Sommer (EDO Tas). Back: Richard Webb, Nick Sawyer (TNPA), Paul Smith, Tom Allen (TWS Tas).