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Parks – Pumphouse Point

Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 9 June 2022

Tags: Parks

Ms O'CONNOR - Is Pumphouse Point for sale and is that for the lease or licence or is this sale the conversion of Crown land to freehold land?

Mrs PETRUSMA - That would be a commercial matter. I am not aware of it myself, so it is a commercial matter.

Ms O'CONNOR - That is interesting it sounds to me like the answer is yes, because Mr Jacobi instantly started muttering in your ear.

Mrs PETRUSMA - I can honestly say I do not know about it.

Ms O'CONNOR - Our understanding is that NRMA is the buyer of Pumphouse Point which is inside the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage area. Don't you think it is interesting because you are embarking on Crown land sales through your department. I think Pumphouse Point is on Crown land and you have no line of sight to the potential sale of Pumphouse Point.

Mrs PETRUSMA - It has not risen to my level yet, so I am not sure what sort of processes for any commercial development would be.

Ms O'CONNOR - It certainly was not advertised along with the other crown land sales.

Mrs PETRUSMA - It would be a lease or licence arrangement I would assume.

Mr JACOBI - Leases are routinely transferred and purchased by other companies. That is a straight forward transfer matter that is dealt with by my department when we are advised that the proponent or the owner of the lease wishes to transfer that lease to a third party.

Ms O'CONNOR - Okay. One final question. Minister, just backtracking a bit to the South Coast Track and the Aboriginal heritage assessment. If the Aboriginal heritage assessment confirms what is reasonably well understood, certainly within Parks, the extraordinary importance of the Aboriginal heritage along the South Coast Track, the first question is, how could you even countenance a tourism development along that track given what we know even in broad terms of that heritage; and do you know if the developer is aware that there is potentially a very extensive and expensive rerouting of the South Coast Track that would be required in order not to threaten the heritage on that track?

Mrs PETRUSMA - The developer is committed to engaging and consulting with the Aboriginal community in this whole development. The developer has not approached us about any rerouting of the track or anything like that -

Mr JACOBI - Ms O'Connor, I think you are referring to Denmans Cove; is that the section of track that you were -

Ms O'CONNOR - I was not referring to any particular site and, in fact, that is not the site that was in my brain when I was talking about Aboriginal heritage on the track.

Mr JACOBI - We have not received a final reserve activity assessment or a comprehensive archaeological assessment for this proposal by Experience Co. I do not think anyone questions - and I would never question - the significance of that landscape to Aboriginal people. My job is to assess the material that is put before my officers and me and we are rigorous in our assessment of that material. I think the correspondence between Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania and the previous proponent is evidence of just how seriously we take that responsibility.

I am aware of a situation at Denmans Cove, where the South Coast track was realigned previously, many years ago. It was realigned closer to the coastline and there have been concerns raised about the proximity of that section of the South Coast Track to some sites of extraordinary world heritage, outstanding universal value. I have inquired with my staff about what the costs would be to relocate that track again so that it would be removed from being in proximity of those sites. I am still awaiting their detailed advice about the costs of doing that work and the impacts of again relocating the track, because it was relocated at one point in time and now to relocate it again would cause further impact. I would want to be aware of that. That track realignment would constitute its own reserve activity assessment to make sure that we were not, by realigning it, causing further impacts to either natural or cultural heritage values.

To date, I have not been provided with any information about the likely cost of that work or how important that section of track is compared to other sections of the track that are worthy of investment.

Mrs PETRUSMA - I just want to add to that. Ms O'Connor, our expectation is that any proponent for any [inaudible] will have early engagement with Tasmanian Aboriginal people and seek advice from Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania, the Aboriginal Heritage Council and the PWS to prepare thorough Aboriginal heritage assessments, including any required mitigations. Where this is required and not undertaken or is insufficient in the proposal, it simply will not progress. We have stated that they need to get any permits required from the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs, otherwise this development will not progress. I think we are a long way away from that point.