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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Tasmania

The Great Tasmanian Traverse

This guided trip, which will happen over 39 days, is an epic journey that seeks to ‘traverse’ Tasmania on foot and raft from north to south. While sections are covered by road and light plane, it does include a long walk from the north coast all the way to Lake St Clair. It then heads into Frenchmans Cap, does 8 days on the mid and lower Franklin River, before flying to Melaleuca on the west coast and one final, extended walk along the South Coast Track.

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TAS and federal govs ‘ignored expert advice’ in approving wilderness development

The attempt by some in government and business to open up World Heritage and other protected areas to commercial development has seen a long running campaign by those who fear that individual developments could be the ‘thin end of the wedge’ and open the door to much greater incursion.

Recently there has been substantial concern about plans to build a fly-in, fly-out luxury camp at Lake Malbena in Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) on the Central Plateau. It is a remote location, to the south east of the famed Walls of Jerusalem area. The plan includes a helipad, accommodation, kitchen and toilet facilities.

Now, leaked documents show that Tasmania’s national parks advisory body argued against the controversial development which has been supported by both the State and Federal Governments.

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Hands Across The Organ Pipes

On Sunday October 7, around 140 enthusiastic and energetic walkers participated in the ‘Hands Across the Organ Pipes’ action – saying we love the Organ Pipes as they are and NO to a cable car.

After more than 5,000 people rallied against the cable car last May, its great to see the sustained activity of local residents against this unpopular development.

Photographer: Kim Walls.

Hands across the Organ Pipes – walk and action, OCT 7

Mountain Journal has been reporting on the proposal to build a cable car up the face of kunanyi/ Mt Wellington for several years. The community resistance to this plan has been solid, determined and strategic. Local residents group Residents Opposed to the Cable Car (ROCC) have organised a walk and action to celebrate the beauty of the mountain, to be held on Sunday OCT 7.

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Details of Dove Lake development revealed.

There has been a long process which will see a major development in the northern end of the Cradle Mountain Lakes St Clair national park in Tasmania. The state government has now released the Dove Lake Viewing Shelter Development Proposal and Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS) for public comment.

This is the first release of plans for the shelter which is planned for Dove Lake. Other key components of the proposal are a redevelopment of the tourist ‘gateway’ facilities to the north and the building of a gondola/ cable car between the new tourist centre and Dove Lake (the cable car component of the plan got the green light in May when former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced $30 million for the project). The DPEIS will be on display for six weeks. According to the government, “feedback from the community will help refine the Development Approval that will be submitted to the Kentish Council. Once all approvals have been obtained, the construction works will be tendered late this year”.

Continue reading “Details of Dove Lake development revealed.”

Controversial Walls of Jerusalem camp approved by federal environment department

The new federal environment minister, Melissa Price, has approved a controversial proposal to allow ‘helicopter tourism’ and a small commercial operation inside the Walls of Jerusalem national park in Central Tasmania.

Having a new federal environment minister is an opportunity to hit the ‘reset’ button on particular issues that come under the minister’s jurisdiction. The decision to approve this application can only be seen as a disappointing early move from the new government under PM Scott Morrison.

The minister’s department considered ‘that the proposal is not likely to have significant impacts on any nationally protected environmental matters’. However the proposal includes plans for 120 helicopter flights a year on to Halls Island inside the park.

The final stage in the approvals process rests with the Central Highlands Council.

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‘Assisted migration’ for species under threat from climate change?

As temperatures rise and the world’s climate rapidly changes, many plants and animals may not be able to relocate fast enough on their own, and habitats and species could be lost. In Australia warmer temperatures are expected to increase the length and severity of bushfire seasons, which will also cause changes in the distribution of many mountain species.

For instance, increased fire frequency may lead to the loss of alpine ash forests, unless there is human intervention.

Continue reading “‘Assisted migration’ for species under threat from climate change?”

Another threat to Mt Wellington/ kunanyi

The long campaign against the plan by Mount Wellington Cableway Company (MWCC) to build a cable car up the face of Mt Wellington/ kunanyi in Hobart has entered another serious stage.

After being refused land by Carlton and United Breweries, the developer now wants to clear a 2.5 km road through a public reserve. According to local group Residents Opposed to the Cable Car (ROCC), the area is home to a number of threatened species and the proposed road would also ‘obliterate the hugely popular Tip Top Track’. They are calling for people to oppose this new proposal.

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Does wild nature create activists?

The primary purpose of this website is to celebrate the mountains of south eastern Australia and Tasmania. This includes getting out and enjoying them – walking, skiing, riding, climbing, paddling, or simply just taking it easy. I have a deep belief that getting people out into wild nature makes them more likely to feel engaged in protecting wild ecosystems.

There has been some interesting conversations of late about whether this assumption is actually correct.

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