Parks op­po­nents are ‘bul­ly­ing’ de­vel­op­ers

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS -

Po­lit­i­cal Edi­tor

DAVID KILLICK

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.

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