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Adjournment - Lake Malbena

27 November 2018

Ms O'CONNOR (Clark - Leader of the Greens) - Madam Speaker, I rise to seek 
the leave of the House to table the submissions that were released under 
the Freedom of Information Act federally. These are the submissions on 
the proposal to allow for luxury huts and up to a 120 or more helicopter 
flights and landings each year at Halls Island, Lake Malbena in the World 
Heritage Area. 

I gave the documents previously to the Leader of Government Business in 
the House and the Leader of Opposition Business in the House some hours 
ago, given how weighty the documents are. As I understand it, I have the 
approval of both two table the documents.

Leave granted.

Ms O'CONNOR - Thank you, Madam Speaker. I want to update other members - 
all of whom were not at Town Hall today, with the exception of Dr Woodruff
- on the very successful Keep Tassie Wild rally, which was attended by 
people from all walks of life. They were brought to Town Hall out of a 
deep love for the Tasmanian wilderness, an absolute determination to see 
it protected and remain publicly accessible to all Tasmanians. 

It is fair to say as I stood on the stage and looked across the crowd in a 
packed town hall that there were many new faces there. I am certain that 
the people who attended Town Hall today are not your classic small 'g' 
greenies but most the wilderness holds a special place in their hearts.

The submissions that are now on the table have been made by respected 
organisations that have been comprehensively ignored by the state Liberal 
Government and then by the federal government in its approval of the Lake 
Malbena proposal. These submissions include: damning submissions from 
the Aboriginal Heritage Council concerned about 8000-year-old petroglyphs 
that the proponent of the Halls Island project would like to take his 
visitors in to see; and the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council 
which advises both state and federal Liberal governments against approving 
the development because of its impacts on matters of national significance 
including its impact on wilderness and cultural heritage values. There 
are also submissions from the Circular Head Walking Club, the Tasmanian 
North West Fishing Association, the Anglers Alliance of Tasmania, 
Tasmanian Professional Guides Association, the Pandani Bush Walking Club, 
the Tasmania Fly Tyers' Club, the Southern Tasmanian Licensed Anglers 
Association, Tasmanian National Parks Association, North West Walking Club, 
Bushwalking Tasmania, Hobart Walking Club, Bird Life Tasmania, Friends of 
the Great Western Tiers, the Environmental Defenders Office, the 
Wilderness Society, the Tasmanian Conservation Trust and the Tasmanian 
Land Conservancy.

The opposition to this proposal is overwhelmingly strong. It comes from 
the broadest possible cross-section of the Tasmanian community. It is 
fact that you do not have to be a greenie to love the wilderness, you just 
have to be a Tasmanian. The reason people came in such numbers to Town 
Hall today was out of an intense feeling of frustration and anger at not 
being heard. They are angry at being locked out and ignored through a 
process which began three years ago under this Government's opaque 
expressions of interest process. They are angry and frustrated because 
they have witnessed a wholly corrupted process that shuts out public input 
and happens behind closed doors. They are angry because state and federal 
Liberal governments have ignored the evidence of the National Parks and 
Wildlife Advisory Council, the Heritage Council, the Aboriginal Heritage 
Council and so many other recreational users of the TWA. They are angry 
because both levels of government have been ignoring the voices of 
Tasmanians who have longed loved and enjoyed the place and who recognise 
that this proposal is the thin edge of the wedge.

A number of excellent speakers came along today. One of them was a 
mathematician and wilderness expert, Martin Hawes who yesterday released, 
along with the Wilderness Society, his Lake Malbena wilderness assessment. 
It is important to remember that Martin Hawes was commissioned by the 
Tasmanian Government on two previous occasions to map the wilderness 
qualities of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Martin Hawes 
knows what he is talking about. He found, using a universally accepted 
methodology for understanding impacts on wilderness, that if the Lake 
Malbena proposal goes ahead that the wilderness values of Lake Malbena and 
its surrounds in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park will be all but lost. 

For anyone who is interested - unfortunately, on neither side of the House 
does there seem to be much interest, although I did see the Attorney-
General showing some interest - when you have mechanised access at the 
scale that this Government has approved of 120 or more helicopter flights 
and landings a year, you lose wilderness completely. That is why the 
Anglers Alliance, recreational fishers and bushwalkers are so frustrated. 

I will leave the House with a definition of wilderness from the 
compromised World Heritage Area Management Plan, which talks about 
wilderness but takes no steps to protect it. 

It is an area of sufficient size, remoteness and naturalness to enable the 
long-term integrity of its natural systems, diversity and processes, the 
maintenance of cultural landscapes and the provision of a wilderness 
recreational experience. 

All of it placed under threat by this Government.