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Celebrating Conservation Victories - Malbena

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 16 September 2021

Tags: Reserve Activity Assessments, Lake Malbena, Parks EOIs

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - I want to pen an ode to all those conservationists and to all those good-hearted Tasmanians who are standing up for this beautiful place. I pay tribute to their hard work and to the victories they are achieving in making change in this island, despite the best efforts of this Liberal Government to shut down anglers and fishers, the people in the communities in Norfolk Bay, in the Tasman Peninsula, on Bruny Island, on the north west and on the east coast of Tasmania and in the Huon. Despite your efforts to do everything you can to shut people up, they will not be shut up. They can see through the sham and spin of this Government.

We have an enormous win for conservationists, thanks to the hard work of the Environmental Defenders Office against the best efforts of this Government to back Daniel and Simone Hackett, who have been given disgraceful, private ownership of Halls Island in Lake Malbena in the World Heritage-listed area in Tasmania.

Despite their efforts in the Supreme Court to fight the people, the people have won. That pathetic attempt to privatise the island will have to go back into the RMPAT for another assessment.

Thank you to Claire Bookless, thank you to the Environmental Defenders Office, the Wilderness Society, the Tasmanian National Parks Association, the anglers and fishers and the 1343 people who made applications on behalf of the public interest against this disgusting, incredible, ludicrous idea that a couple should be allowed to have exclusive ownership for $4000 a year of World Heritage Wilderness area.

That is what Daniel Hackett has at the moment. He struts it around. It is his own little island. He is allowed to evict anyone who goes there, because they are trespassing. He is allowed to put up camera surveillance and monitor anybody's activities. That is all lawful under this Government's distorted idea about what public ownership should look like. What they mean when they say public ownership, is it is held by the Crown to be dispersed to their friends, their mates, at no cost, essentially, gifting it to them, so they can make money from developments and charge the mighty rich to come in helicopters and to spoil that beautiful wilderness and have their own fun on our public places.

The Tasmanian Aboriginal people have been looking after Halls Island for tens of thousands of years and Tasmanians who care about this place are going to keep fighting for it and they are going to keep winning.

While we are at it, we have an extraordinary group of people coming together in Cygnet on Saturday and they will be talking about the growing campaign to force this Government to have real environmental regulation.

We heard the minister make an announcement about fish farming this morning; they are going to clean up the fish farming industry. They are actually listening to people. They are really concerned about all the damage that has been done to the Tasmanian brand because of the market campaign. Well, the idea of Mr Barnett fixing the industry, everyone has seen through it straightaway. Richard Flanagan has penned a press release straightaway and he has called Mr Barnett's announcement a sham:

It is light on detail, loose in language. It is not a 10 year plan but a three thimble con trick to cover for a rogue industry in deep crisis.

As ever, Mr Flanagan knows how to put a few words together and he says it with aplomb. We understand from that sham plan is that the Government is pretending that there will be some sort of holding back of the industry and a moratorium for a year. What we have is a commitment to no net increase in leases, farming leases. What does that say? It says to someone like me, who has been around long enough to know, that there can be a trade off and companies that have dead leases, zombie leases, unused leases, stored leases, inefficient leases, whatever, that are not providing them as much value as they want, can trade them off.

They can still go to the north-west, they can still go to the south, they can still intensify in Storm Bay. They can still stay in Port Arthur, they can still stay near Tinderbox in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel. Nothing will stop them from going to those places as long as that whole area is the same under the Liberals' plan.

The independent EPA - well, come on - let us talk about that. Unless you stop having a statement of expectations then it cannot be independent. You might like to take it aside and put it in another department and call it an independent EPA but if you are still telling them what to do, and the minister confirmed in Estimates last week that that is what will still be happening, it cannot be independent.

The talk of Mr Barnett this morning about on land and deep offshore, it sounds like he has been reading the Greens' Marine Policy from the last state election. Actually, all of this has a bit of Greens about it because it is called 'greenwash'. What is actually going to happen is not a commitment to regulate, to mandate the industry to targets to go on land; it is a commitment to doing research and development and spending some money, probably for the industry, on their behalf, gifting it to them, looking at that future. Well, it stinks and no-one believes it already and it has only been a few hours since it was announced.