Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader
The Liberals’ planned death by a thousand cuts for Tasmania’s wilderness took a step forward today.
The Federal Environment department has accepted the Liberals’ and proponent’s arguments, approving the development of a luxury camp at Lake Malbena in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park inside the TWWHA.
Not once during the nearly four years this proposal was being oiled through by the Liberal government were Tasmanians given any say on this proposal.
They weren’t asked, for example, about the dodgy rezoning of Lake Malbena from ‘wilderness’ to ‘self-reliant recreation’ in the final World Heritage Management Plan in 2016; a move explicitly designed to progress this development.
Close to the end of the process, comments were invited on the Federal assessment which was at a lower level because the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service submitted a lower level Reserve Activity Assessment.
It is oxygen clear the Expressions of Interest process for development inside protected areas and public lands is specifically designed to shut out public comment. There is no statutory requirement for public consultation or transparency around development inside protected and public lands.
That is a corrupted process which is denying recreational users of the TWWHA a voice and placing Tasmania’s wilderness at risk.
The Lake Malbena proposal is the first of many commercial developments that have been solicited by the Hodgman Liberals. The EOI process is an ongoing, rolling process with no end in sight except for the wilderness which, now more than ever, needs Tasmanians to stand to defend it.
Unless he turns this out of control ship around soon, the legacy of the Premier and Minister for Parks, Will Hodgman, will be the degradation of Tasmanian wilderness for, and on behalf of, wealthy developers and tourists.