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Heritage - Halls Island

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Tags: Heritage, Lake Malbena, State Budget

Ms O'CONNOR - Are you able to provide the committee with an update on the Tasmanian Heritage Council's consideration of the heritage listing of Reg Hall's hut on Halls Island which your Government has effectively privatised?

Mr JAENSCH - No, it hasn't effectively privatised it.

Ms O'CONNOR - That is interesting because Daniel Hackett calls it 'our historic hut' in this article in The Examiner. He says, 'our historic hut', like it belongs to the Hacketts, but anyway, carry on.

Mr JAENSCH - I think he is referring to a lease.

Ms O'CONNOR - Have you told him he doesn't own it?

Mr JAENSCH - He is referring to a lease and a piece of heritage in his care that he is proud of, as other people have been in the past. I can confirm that the Tasmanian Heritage Council considered an application to have Halls Hut located on Halls Island in Lake Malbena, entered in the Tasmanian Heritage Register at its June 2021 meeting, noting that the place has been registered previously.

The Historic Cultural Heritage Act requires a two-step process for entering a place in the register. The first step is for the heritage council to notify the owners of its decision to list a place on the register as a provisional entry. As required by legislation, the public is to be informed of the registration 21 to 28 days after the owners' notification. This occurred on 14 July and marks the start of the 60 day public consultation process. The second step for the heritage council will be to review submissions or objections received and to make a decision as to whether or not to permanently enter the place in the register.

Ms O'CONNOR - Can you confirm that when the heritage council notified the owners of Reg Halls' hut that they notified the Parks and Wildlife Service or the Tasmanian Government?

Mr BAKER - Could you clarify your question?

Ms O'CONNOR - The minister was talking about the process that the heritage council goes through to have something listed on the register and talked about the council, once it makes a decision on Halls Island - which I understand it has - it notifies the owners. Who received the notification from the heritage council about the proposed listing of Reg Hall's hut?

Mr JAENSCH - I have a record here that says the owner and lessee have been notified.

Ms O'CONNOR - And the owner is?

Mr JAENSCH - Parks.

Ms O'CONNOR - The Parks Service. So, the owner and the lessee have been notified.

Mr JAENSCH - It is appropriate. You can understand why.

Ms O'CONNOR - Sure, but I am glad we have had a distinction between owner and lessee. I hope Mr Hackett reads this Hansard and stops pretending he owns Reg Hall's hut and Halls Island.

Mr BAKER - I can clarify I was notified as the director of Parks.

Ms O'CONNOR - Great, thank you. Can you confirm, minister, that there's a mechanism within the Heritage Register process that basically would allow for the heritage administration of Reg Hall's hut to fall back within the ambit of Parks? The Greens argue this has been a massive part of the problem here because of their willingness to facilitate this development.

Mr JAENSCH - Are you asking to me to agree to your statement taking a shot at Parks for being unprofessional?

Ms O'CONNOR - No, no, it's not all of Parks, of course.

Mr JAENSCH - Are you just going to choose some people you want to say are not doing their job properly?

Ms O'CONNOR - No, I'm sure they're doing their job for Government.

Mr JAENSCH - But you're insinuating that they're somehow not meeting the requirements of their legislation.

Ms O'CONNOR - No, I'm not insinuating that either.

Mr JAENSCH - I think you're suggesting it.

Ms O'CONNOR - No, no, no, I'm not. The issue I have with Parks is the issue which the conservation movement more broadly is developing with Parks is that there's a level of distrust now because of Parks' involvement in the exploitation of protected areas. The question is, once the Reg Hall's hut is listed, who has responsibility for protecting those heritage values? Who will have responsibility?

Mr JAENSCH - My first thought would be that is the owner and those responsibilities would be reflected in any lease arrangements with operators, but I will defer to my secretary.

Mr BAKER - That is the correct answer.

Ms O'CONNOR - So, the heritage protections would be administered by the Parks and Wildlife Service, which is in the process of commercialising Halls Island and Reg Hall's hut?

Mr JAENSCH - I am not going to answer that because it is wrapped in a nasty slur against the Parks Service -

Ms O'CONNOR - Not the Parks Service, no, senior management.

Mr JAENSCH - and the Government and they are an incorrect characterisation of a process that is underway. I'm sorry, just Mr Baker to my left then.

Ms O'CONNOR - No, well, Mr Baker, Mr Jacobi -

Mr JAENSCH - Who are you shooting in this safe workplace? Who are you impugning?

CHAIR - Ms O'Connor, I understand there's a conversation going on here. We only have half an hour on this particular portfolio. Perhaps if Ms O'Connor and Mr Jaensch want to have this conversation afterward they should feel free to do so.

Mr JAENSCH - She will only do it under privilege, Chair, so it's not going to happen outside.

Ms O'CONNOR - No, thank you. I have said this to the media. I won't only do it under privilege. I don't use the coward's castle in the same way that others do.