Tasmanian Times

Media Release

Liberals’ Wilderness Wrecking a National Disgrace

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Parks spokesperson

The Hodgman Government’s ‘open for business’ mantra is backfiring on both them and Tasmania.

An in depth report in the Weekend Australian magazine details the extreme threat the Liberals’ commercialisation and privatisation agenda poses to the Tasmanian wilderness.

Across the country, people who understand the extraordinary rarity of this island’s wilderness will be shaking their heads in dismay.

Lake Malbena inside the Walls of Jerusalem National Park is intensifying as a flashpoint for protest, bringing together conservationists and recreational users, who together recognise the threat.

To developers lining up to capitalise on public protected areas, places like Lake Malbena, Cradle Mountain and the wild South Coast are just the last free real estate in the country.

Interviewed by The Weekend Australian, Tasmanian Walking Company CEO, Brett Godfrey, is one of the Liberals’ favoured developers who is laughing all the way to the bank.

TWC secured an exclusive 45 year lease for luxury lodges inside the Tasman National Park, with plans for four more exclusive, extended leases with private infrastructure on public lands inside the TWWHA.

The Liberals have gifted TWC a license to print money off a public asset while Lake Malbena proponent, Daniel Hackett, has secured special treatment in the 2016 TWWHA Management Plan and the privatisation of Halls Island.

It might be legal under a weak statutory framework but the Expressions of Interest (EOI) process for development inside protected areas and on public lands is a corrupted process.

The Premier and Parks’ Minister, Will Hodgman, continues to favour private profit over the public interest and the protection of Tasmania’s treasured wild places.

Both Mr Hodgman, and developers lining up to exploit our protected areas, underestimate the determination of those who love and will defend the wilderness.

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  1. Luca Vanzino

    November 18, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    Ted, that’s a well stated political history lesson.

    That “Pale Green Cabal” certainly have a lot to answer for. When the Greens were responsible for the Housing portfolio they flagrantly chose to look the other way when a report they were relying upon, regarding the development of prime Class 3 agricultural land at Huntingfield near Kingston, was shown to be scientifically flawed.

    The direct result is the broad acre subdivision of land which was previously a dairy farm. Despite this farm having physical limitations in terms of modern milk production, it did have considerable long term potential for food production. It could have produced a wide variety of commodities for domestic use and local sales, eg farmers markets, local value adding or limited boutique varieties. Such local capacity will become much more viable over time as transport costs increase.The potential for future local production should have never been lost. This ‘Pale Green’ decision flew in the face of the Party’s stated policy position.

    The end result? Anybody who drives from Kingston to the city each morning, now and into the future, will have plenty of time to cogitate as they sit in the daily traffic jam on the Southern Outlet.

  2. Ted Mead

    November 18, 2018 at 3:03 pm

    Yeah .. great media release! One hopes that the author may realise what precedent damage was inflicted when the Greens rubber stamped the commercialisation of the Cape Pillar wilderness zone.

    There was plenty of public opposition to the development of the Tasman NP, but the Greens in cabinet kept allocating taxpayers’ money for each and every stage of the Three Capes project to proceed.

    Ultimately the Greens lost the seat of Lyons over that over which they have never recovered, and their support continue to decline. The last ballot box results attests to this.

    It’s always good that a political party comes out with opposition, but one would question the sincerity of such words if they were put into compromising position once more.

    What the state needs is an proactive environmental/political party to stand for the protection of the wilderness, and not a mainstream run-of-the-mill pale green party which vacillates and oscillates in the chamber of parliament when it may suit their personal positions!

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