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Adjournment - Lake Malbena
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
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.
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
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
All of it placed under threat by this Government.