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Lake Malbena - Actions of Parks and Wildlife Service


Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 1 July 2021

Tags: Right to Information, Parks EOIs

Ms O'CONNOR question to MINISTER for PARKS redirected to PREMIER, Mr GUTWEIN

This morning on the lawns, representatives from 18 community groups, including Fishers and Walkers Tasmania, the Tasmanian Wilderness Guides Association, the Tasmanian National Parks Association and BirdLife Tasmania called for an end to your Government's secrecy over development in public protected areas. They have had a gutful. They are also furious about the politicisation of the Parks and Wildlife Service under the Government you lead.

Can you explain why your minister's agency, the Parks and Wildlife Service, has been actively facilitating and working with the Lake Malbena development proponent, Mr Daniel Hackett, to progress his project through the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act process? Can you explain why Parks is bending over backwards producing information that falsely denies the impact on wilderness as a result of Mr Hackett's proposed multiple helicopter flights to Halls Island? How did it transpire that a developer, Mr Hackett, released a government Parks and Wildlife Service document? Why is Parks doing a developer's bidding in this way?

 

ANSWER

Mr Speaker, I thank the Leader of the Greens, the member for Clark, for that question - which were in fact a significant number of questions. I am not sure I will be able to provide all that detail.

The EOI processes we have employed at Lake Malbena are more transparent than what existed when you were in government and prior to that when you were a member of the House. As you well understand, what used to happen when you were in government, would be that these leases, licences and arrangements would be signed, sealed and delivered without the public having any idea at all of what was going on.

Ms O'Connor interjecting.

Mr GUTWEIN - The Leader of the Greens should acknowledge that this is a more transparent process.

A recent assurance report handed down by the Auditor-General found that the EOI process, as measured against the audit criteria, was in all material aspects 'implemented and administered effectively and in a manner consistent with the Government's policy objectives'. In regards to transparency 'there was no evidence to support allegations of undue secrecy of the EOI process'. That is a direct quote.

Ms O'Connor - You are totally distorting his report.

Mr SPEAKER - Order. Ms O'Connor.

Mr GUTWEIN - The Minister for Parks would be able to provide a much more detailed and comprehensive answer than I will be able to this morning. I will provide an update to the House at the end of the day. We will need to wait until the Hansard copy of question time is available so that we can look at the multitude of questions you have asked.

Ms O'Connor - I will give you this.

Mr GUTWEIN - I will take that afterwards and we will send that in. I am happy to do that. To the best of my ability I will ensure that we provide answers to the questions you have raised.