In what smacks of another cynical attempt to limit public engagement and transparency, the additional information pertaining to the federal referral and assessment of the controversial Lake Malbena tourism development has been made available for 10 days of public comment, across the school holidays and the day the Tasmanian Parliament rises.

After being called-out for withholding important assessment information when first published, additional information was yesterday published on the Department of Environment website and the public now has a ten day window to make a submission.

“After two secret state-based approvals that offered no chance for public consultation, the one process where the community can have a say will now play out over a school holiday period that will inevitably limit the level of engagement,” said Vica Bayley, spokesperson for the Wilderness Society.

“After withholding critical information, this looks like a deeply cynical consultation exercise.”

“It’s very clear that bushwalkers, fly fishermen, conservationists and many others are concerned about the commercialisation of this wild part of Tasmania and the impact on important conservation values, including wilderness and recreation values.
“Building huts and flying high-end guests in by helicopter will have an impact on a place that people from across the community spectrum cherish.

“Just last week, the World Heritage Committee adopted a decision based on an expert report that was critical of the underhand way Lake Malbena was rezoned to allow this development to processed.

“Transparency and accountability have never been high since the secret Expression of Interest process was developed, but inviting public comment in the one process open to the public, across a school holiday period is particularly underwhelming.

The additional information is available here, search referral 2018/8177:

http://epbcnotices.environment.gov.au/referralslist/