Halls Island, Lake Malbena, Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Photo: Grant Dixon

Bad news re outcome of Supreme Court Appeal of Lake Malbena decision

BAD NEWS! The Supreme Court’s decision on the appeal by The Wilderness Society (TWS) and ourselves, against the Planning Tribunal decision regarding the Lake Malbena development proposal, was handed down on 13 July 2020. Neither of our grounds of appeal succeeded. Obviously, this is extremely disappointing. We made a media release with The Wilderness Society the following day which can be read here.

The initial feedback from our legal team is that the decision is disappointing not only for the future of Halls Island. The decision does not fully explain the reasoning used by the Court and hence it is of limited use in clarifying the process for assessing future development proposals on reserved land. You can read the court’s full decision here.

The deadline for appealing this decision is 27 July. TNPA and TWS are considering our options but the cost of further legal action is a major consideration.

Our appeal contended that the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal improperly delegated its assessment of the Lake Malbena proposal to Tasmania’s Parks and Wildlife Service and did not undertake its own assessment of the proposal against the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan. The Court’s findings related to this legal point, not the merits of the proposal itself.

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