There has been a long running attempt to develop a tourism venturein a remote World Heritage Area on Tasmania’s Central Plateau. This would set a worrying precedent for future commercial development in World Heritage and National Parks.

In December 2019, the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal (RMPAT) overturned the Central Highlands Council’s decision to refuse a permit for helicopter-accessed visitor accommodation at Halls Island, Lake Malbena, in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. But environmental groups have not given up on this issue.

The Tasmanian National Parks Association (TNPA) have joined with The Wilderness Society (TWS) to file an appeal against the Tribunal’s decision in the Supreme Court of Tasmania.

The TNPA and TWS will be arguing that RMPAT erred in relying on the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service’s reserve ‘activity assessment ‘to determine whether the Lake Malbena proposal is in accordance with the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan 2016.

The Environment Defenders Office will represent TWS and TNPA in this action.

If this argument is successful, RMPAT will need to form its own opinion on compliance with the management plan, based on the substantial amount of evidence presented to them by our expert witnesses during last year’s hearings.

The TNPA say: ‘We are pursuing this matter not only for Lake Malbena but also because it has major implications for the many other intrusive tourism developments currently being considered for Tasmania’s national parks under the state government’s secretive Expressions of Interest process’.

You can donate to the TNPA to support this case here.