*Pic: Image from here
Tasmanian anglers are looking to the Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg to protect the Walls of Jerusalem National Park from a new tourism development inside the World Heritage Area.
After just ten days, the opportunity for public submissions to the Federal Environment Department on the luxury tourism development at Halls Island on Lake Malbena has closed.
The Commonwealth referral is the first opportunity any concerned Tasmanian had to comment on the proposal. It was approved at a State level three years ago through the secretive Expressions of Interest process run through the Office of the Coordinator General.
The luxury tourism accommodation would allow wealthy travelers to helicopter in, get the Instagram picture, catch a fish, and chopper back out at a price far greater than most locals could afford.
Documents leaked to the Greens make it clear this would involve up to 120 chopper flights and landings in the wilderness each year.
The Hodgman government is so keen on developing the TWWHA its management plan was actually substantially changed to allow commercial development inside the wilderness.
Under the previous TWWHA management plan, helicopter landings inside the wilderness were very strictly limited by PWS. The Liberals changes to the TWWHA management plan in 2015-16 have opened the area up to an aerial free-for-all for commercial operators.
‘Remoteness from mechanized access’ is key to the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service definition of wilderness. There is no question this proposal would degrade wilderness values in the TWWHA infuriating anglers, conservationists and many more Tasmanians.
Will Hodgman’s legacy will be the degradation of wilderness in Tasmania.
In short, public access to the Lake Malbena area is being traded off by the Hodgman Liberals for the wealthy few. The WHA is for everyone, not just a few cashed up visitors.
The Federal Minister should reject this proposal on the basis of the damage it would do to globally significant Tasmanian wilderness.