Parks opponents are ‘bullying’ developers
OPPONENTS of the controversial Lake Malbena development are “bullies”, says Parks and Environment and Heritage Minister Peter Gutwein.
The Minister’s comment in State Parliament yesterday came after the Federal Court set aside the Federal Government’s environmental assessment of the helicopterserviced luxury standing camp proposal for Lake Malbena, in the state’s central highlands.
The court on
Tuesday found the federal environment minister had wrongly decided she did not need to assess the development as it was not deemed a “controlled action”.
The judgment also said the state’s Reserve Activity Assessment process, which is used by the Parks and Wildlife Service to assess tourism proposals, had “no apparent statutory basis”.
Mr Gutwein said opponents were “bullying” the developers.
“They want to have a fullfrontal attack on a young Tasmanian family which is doing its best to establish a world-class tourism venture that will create jobs and opportunity for Tasmania,” he said.
“Halls Island has had a lease on it for a long period of time. It is not pristine wilderness — it sits within pristine wilderness, but Halls Island is not.”
“What the judgment does, in simple terms, is it simply sets aside the current federal decision to allow the parties to actually negotiate on the conditions that were brought forward voluntarily by the proponent in first place.”
The proponent of the development, Daniel Hackett, said the ruling was complex, but he was confident the project would proceed.
“My layperson’s take on it is that the project is free to go ahead as proposed,” he told ABC radio. “It just ensures a belts and braces approach that our avoidance and mitigation measures on impacts are legally binding at a federal level — and they already are at a state level.”
Mr Hackett declined to reveal how much he was paying for the exclusive right to develop the island.
Greens Leader Cassy O’Connor said the process of approving developments in national parks was flawed.
“This mess was created by the Liberals,” she said.
“They politicised the Parks and Wildlife Service, so that it’s bending over backwards to progress developments. What we’ve got here is developments being approved through a process which has been slammed by the federal court as a nonstatutory process.
“The Liberals are approving developments through reserve activity assessments, which are written in secret, inside Parks, largely written by proponents themselves.” in Tasmania
AUSTRALIAN researchers have made a major breakthrough in the search for a rabies vaccine by discovering how to stop the fatal virus shutting down the body’s immune defence system.
The work by researchers at Monash University and the University of Melbourne has “solved a key scientific puzzle, laying the foundation for the development of new antirabies vaccines”.
Rabies kills an estimated 60,000 people a year and is transmitted overwhelmingly through dog bites.