Ad­viser’s warn­ing on is­land project

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - EMILY BAKER and JAMES KITTO

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.

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