*Pic: Bob Brown’s pic of Frenchman’s Cap …

A Draft Recreation Zone Plan for Frenchmans Cap, out for public comment and supposed to guide visitor management for this iconic wilderness areas for the coming decade, fails to even mention a controversial new private, commercial tourist accommodation venture proposed for the area, despite its ‘approval’ over three years ago via the secret Expressions of Interest process.

The Wilderness Society today released its submission to the Draft Recreation Zone Plan. The conspicuous absence of any reference to the luxury ‘standing camps’, no discussion of proposed locations and no consideration of likely impacts on values or the experience of others exposes the EOI process as a total sham.

The submission states, the absence of any discussion of the so-called standing camp “demonstrates either a profound inadequacy of this draft plan or the lack of any credibility of the EOI assessment process, or both.”

“If the approved standing camps aren’t even referenced in the proposed new plan that will guide recreation management for the next ten years, it begs the question, ‘what exactly did the secret EOI process approve?’”, said Vica Bayley spokesperson for the Wilderness Society.

“Here we have a controversial, secretly approved EOI proposal that is currently subject to negotiations over lease and licence arrangements, and it seems it’s not developed enough to be countenanced in the definitive plan that will guide visitor management for years to come.

Despite requests, no detailed project information or assessment documents have ever been released for the EOI approved proposals and the community was deliberately shut out of any role in the process.

A leaked Coordinator General minute to former Minister Matthew Groom was leaked earlier this week.

“On the back of revelations this week that the EOI process ‘approved’ a development at Lake Malbena that did not comply with the relevant management plan, this further discredits the process and undermines the value of the entire Recreation Zone Plan.

“Premier and Parks Minister Will Hodgman should immediately revoke the so-called approval for the Frenchmans Cap development and reveal exactly where lease and licence negotiations are up to.

“In the interest of proper process and transparency, the EOI process should be abandoned and prioritisation of the protection of natural and cultural heritage values reinstated.”

Download TWS submission …