Adviser’s warning on island project
A LEAKED document shows the independent body charged with advising both levels of government on Tasmania’s protected areas warned the federal Environment Department against approving a controversial tourism development in World Heritage-listed wilderness in the Central Highlands.
The Greens last week released advice the National Parks and Wildlife Council handed the federal department ahead of its approval of the proposed Walls of Jerusalem standing camp last month.
Launceston couple Daniel and Simone Hackett’s project would have six demountable buildings on Halls Island at Lake Malbena and allow helicopter flights into the area.
National Parks and Wildlife Council chairman Malcolm Wells wrote: “The proponent does not adequately address the issue of exclusive private commercial use of an area in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, the erection of permanent structures masquerading as standing camps or the impacts of regular helicopter access and potential conflict with other users of the TWWHA.
“NPWAC does not support this project progressing at this time and reiterates that contentious projects such as this should not be considered until there is an agreed framework to guide assessment.”
Mr Hackett dismissed the leaked document as “political bullying at its most basic”, accusing the Greens and conservationists of being “unable to accept the umpire’s decision”.
He said the proposal had undergone multiple assessments.
The final decision rests with the Central Highlands Council, which is understood to have not yet received a development application.
The Fishers and Walkers Against Helicopter Access Group last week demanded the Central Highlands Council defer any decision relating to approvals for building works on Halls Island until after the local government elections.
Central Highlands Mayor Lou Triffitt said it would be a topic for the council to discuss.