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Liberals’ Wilderness Wrecking a National Disgrace

17 Nov 2018

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Parks spokesperson

The Hodgman Government’s ‘open for business’ mantra is backfiring on both them and Tasmania.

An in depth report in the Weekend Australian magazine details the extreme threat the Liberals’ commercialisation and privatisation agenda poses to the Tasmanian wilderness.

Across the country, people who understand the extraordinary rarity of this island’s wilderness will be shaking their heads in dismay.

Lake Malbena inside the Walls of Jerusalem National Park is intensifying as a flashpoint for protest, bringing together conservationists and recreational users, who together recognise the threat.

To developers lining up to capitalise on public protected areas, places like Lake Malbena, Cradle Mountain and the wild South Coast are just the last free real estate in the country.

Interviewed by The Weekend Australian, Tasmanian Walking Company CEO, Brett Godfrey, is one of the Liberals’ favoured developers who is laughing all the way to the bank.

TWC secured an exclusive 45 year lease for luxury lodges inside the Tasman National Park, with plans for four more exclusive, extended leases with private infrastructure on public lands inside the TWWHA.

The Liberals have gifted TWC a license to print money off a public asset while Lake Malbena proponent, Daniel Hackett, has secured special treatment in the 2016 TWWHA Management Plan and the privatisation of Halls Island.

It might be legal under a weak statutory framework but the Expressions of Interest (EOI) process for development inside protected areas and on public lands is a corrupted process.

The Premier and Parks’ Minister, Will Hodgman, continues to favour private profit over the public interest and the protection of Tasmania’s treasured wild places.

Both Mr Hodgman, and developers lining up to exploit our protected areas, underestimate the determination of those who love and will defend the wilderness.