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Has Roger Jaensch Backflipped on Parks Review?

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Tags: National Parks, Parks EOIs, Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Reserve Activity Assessments

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Parks spokesperson

Former Premier and Parks Minister, Will Hodgman, claimed the Reserve Activity Assessment (RAA) process was ‘under review’. 

When the Greens asked new Minister, Roger Jaensch about the lack of discussion papers, consultation, terms of reference, or details on what the revised system may look like he refused to answer. 

The non-statutory, unappealable RAA process underpins all developments in Tasmania’s protected areas. 

Yesterday’s Tasmanian Audit Office report evaluated twenty-two Parks Reserve Activity Assessments and found that of these, only two had complete documentation. This would be inexcusable in any other statutory assessment process that had appeal rights.

All the Parks Minister could do in answer to our question was read some top line dot points and an industry player’s media release. 

Has Roger Jaensch backflipped on his predecessor’s commitment, or is he simply unaware of his portfolio details?
The Audit Office report also found that consultation on RAAs is developer driven, and the process is not suitable to deal with the quantity and complexity of projects generated by the Liberals’ dodgy EOI process. Minister Jaensch didn’t go near responding to that criticism. 
Given the inadequacies with the process, the lack of appeal rights, and the ability of RAAs to make objectively false assertions that cannot be challenged, there’s no way the Parks RAA process is fit for purpose. Even Will Hodgman understood that. 
Minister Jaensch should suspend all RAA assessments and begin public consultation on a new statutory process for assessment of proposals for developments in public protected areas.