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Tourism

TAS planning tribunal approves helicopter tourism on the Central Plateau

In February this year, the Central Highlands Council in Tasmania rejected the Lake Malbena tourism development.

The controversial ‘helicopter tourism’ development planned for Halls Island in Lake Malbena on Tasmania’s central plateau had previously been approved by state and federal governments. The local Council was the last government authority which needed to sign off on the project. It rejected it and it had been hoped that the decision by Council would be the end of the proposal.

However, the developer lodged an appeal against this decision. And now the state’s planning tribunal has overturned Central Highlands Councils attempt to have it blocked.

Continue reading “TAS planning tribunal approves helicopter tourism on the Central Plateau”

Investigation into commercial development in Tasmanian parks

There has been a limited number of private commercial tourism operations developed in wild places in Tasmania’s reserve system. There has also been a long campaign by some in the Tasmanian government and business to open up more of the state’s World Heritage and other protected areas to commercial development.

In 2018, plans were revealed 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.

More recently, the Tasmanian government promised $20 million to develop Tasmania’s “Next Iconic Walk”, which was intended to be another hut-based multi-day ‘Three Capes Track’-style development. After a public call for ideas last year, some 20 odd submissions were apparently received, but the full list has never been made public. Then, after another internal process without public scrutiny or clearly detailed selection criteria, the chosen option was announced on 26 July. Based on a proposal from the West Coast Tourism Association, it focuses on the Tyndall Range in the west of the state. The process by which prospective developments are assessed has been questioned over its transparency.

All these plans have been controversial and generated substantial opposition. Now they have attracted the attention of the auditor-general who has announced an investigation into the Expression of Interest (EOI) process for these developments.

Continue reading “Investigation into commercial development in Tasmanian parks”

What’s happening with the Tyndall Ranges ‘Iconic Walk’?

The Tasmanian government promised $20 million at the last election to develop Tasmania’s “Next Iconic Walk”, which was intended to be another hut-based multi-day ‘Three Capes Track’-style development. After a public call for ideas last year, some 20 odd submissions were apparently received, but the full list has never been made public. Then, after another internal process without public scrutiny or clearly detailed selection criteria, the chosen option was announced on 26 July.

Based on a proposal from the West Coast Tourism Association, it focuses on the Tyndall Range. This is unfortunate as the original proposal didn’t do this, instead mentioning it only as a possible final-stage option. But it is not clear how this proposal will be moved forward, beyond the recent announcement that there will be ‘consultation with the public’.

Continue reading “What’s happening with the Tyndall Ranges ‘Iconic Walk’?”

Support the #climatestrike – wherever you are

On September 20 people around the world will be standing up to confront the climate crisis because our politicians won’t.

Australia is already on the frontlines of the climate crisis. Prolonged drought. Flash flooding. Erratic winters. Catastrophic bushfires, severe cyclones and heatwaves. But just at the time when we need to ramp up climate solutions, our government wants to open the floodgates to new coal, oil and gas projects that put all of us at risk.

So, on September 20, three days before the UN Emergency Climate Summit, school students are inviting everyone to join them for the biggest ever global #ClimateStrike. There are more than 100 events planned around Australia (check here to find your closest event).

Members of the Mt Hotham community will be supporting the strike (check here for details).

If you can’t join the strike, why not post your support from wherever you are.

Outdoor adventure relies on healthy natural environments. Whether you walk, climb, ride, paddle, ski, trail run, snowboard – or anything else – the environment you love is at risk from climate change.

And if you work in the outdoor industry, your livelihood is at risk from out of control climate change. For instance, the Australian ski industry alone generates more than $1.8 billion a year and employs more than 18,000 people. Yet under current greenhouse scenarios, climate change could cut Australia’s ski season by more than two months.

It’s easy to support the strike without showing up >

  • Take or post a photo of you in a favourite place.
  • Post on whatever platform you prefer, using #climatestrike and #PlacesWorthProtecting and say that you support the strike and want governments to act on climate change. Tag in the PM: @ScottMorrisonMP

And why not sign our petition to the PM while you’re at it?

Protect Our Winters is mobilising the outdoor community to take action on climate change. You can find out more and sign up for their newsletter here.

Other ideas on taking action are available here.

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Below: The Hotham community is supporting #ClimateStrike. Images: Karl Gray

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Hotham strike poster

Image below: Kelly van den Berg

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Image below: Climate strike in Jindabyne. Photo: Shawn Marlene Joynt-Davies

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Image below: Bright, NE VIC. Photo from Sustainable Upper Ovens.

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Image below: Josh Fletcher, Protect Our Winters Australia. Mt Buller.

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Image below: Bright Brewery.

‘CLIMATE ACTION // We’re made for the mountains – we live, play, and brew here. Climate change is already impacting our mountain home and the future threats to the places we love are terrifying. Massive kudos to the students of Bright P-12 College for organising today’s local #climatestrike Our mountains are definitely #placesworthprotecting

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Look at this beauty. It’s seriously #worthprotecting Change needs to happen. #placesworthprotecting #climatestrike

Marncat

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hannahmajigy

#placesworthprotecting . Supporting the #climatestrike because #weallneedwinter . @scottmorrisonmp we need climate action to protect these places

Hannah
Image below: Brett Webb.
Brett Webb

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The @globalclimatestrike is happening TOMORROW (Friday 20th) There are over 100 events across Australia happening but if you can’t be there, why not post a photo of your favourite place. Even better, one of yourself in your favourite place. Tag yourself in to #ClimateStrike. Add your voice.

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Mining was a big part of my earlier life. Paid for my way of life for a long time. Whether its coal, iron ore or limestone, these industries are still needed but there are now options to reduce our carbon footprint. I now work in renewables for a large wind farm generating zero emissions and with no need to fuel the turbines with anything other than free wind it’s a win – win scenario for the generation market.
Dont let the government tell you it’s fake news.
#protectourwintersaus

Adam W

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Let’s go absolutely huge tomorrow. globalclimatestrike.net for a march near you
pics by @jamesqmartin

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Image below: Mountain Kitchen, Dinner Plain.

Students from the Alpine School heading to the climate event.

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Let’s protect all of are favourite places#climatestrike #placesworthprotecting

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Todays #climatestrike in Sydney was incredible. We’re inspired by the next generation that lead the march.
Our leaders can’t ignore their push for action.
There’s no room in government for climate deniers.
#answerwithaction 📷 @jarrahlynch

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Image below: From Respect The Mountain (Hobart).

Protecting our winters. The people’s mountain – dogs are welcome too!
Thankyou to all the climate action strikers who were out there in force yesterday.

Image Credit: Gary Tew, kunanyi/Mt Wellington 2018.

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A number of our stores will be closing today to support Global Climate Marches across Australia and New Zealand.

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“I support action on climate change not just because I want to protect the beautiful places in which I play, but because it is basic common sense to care for the one planet we have. Climbing and Paragliding, my two favorite sports owe many of their evolutions to advancements in efficiency and technology – the same innovations that are helping with the climate crisis. I’m proud to be on The North Face Team that shares these values and is making meaningful action to reduce their impact and inspire others to do the same.” Words by @cedarwright

Image below: Paddy Pallin

Paddy Pallin is proud to support the Global Climate Strike.
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Join us, we are striking for the future of our planet!⠀⠀⠀

Paddy Pallin

Cable car public meeting

Mount Wellington Cableway Company (MWCC) want to build a cablecar up the face of kunanyi/ Mt Wellington, in Hobart. This is being resisted by a determined community based campaign. MWCC have organised two public meetings for South Hobart residents and then cancelled them at the last minute. South Hobart Progress Association have therefore decided to organise their own meeting – focusing on the impact 180,000 extra cars a year will have on South Hobart residents. It will happen on August 24. All welcome.

Continue reading “Cable car public meeting”

‘Eternal vigilance is the price of Freedom’

Tasmania has a world class conservation system. From the South West Wilderness to the Central Plateau, to the Ben Lomond tablelands, it is brimming with wonderful landscapes that are protected as national parks, world heritage or other forms of park. But these parks didn’t just happen. All of them are the result of tireless work by many thousands of people, sometimes over decades.

From the attempts to stop Lake Pedder from being flooded in the 1970s, the Franklin River campaign of the early 1980s, and the long forest campaigns that followed in places like the Styx, the Florentine, Lemonthyme, and the Great Western Tiers, through to the current attempts to ensure proper protection for the Tarkine / takayna region in the north west, people have campaigned for decades to see these areas protected for all time.

Climate change poses an existential threat to many of the natural ecosystems currently protected in the park network. But there is also a pushback by government and some vested interests and sections of the community against the basic notion of protecting these places.

Continue reading “‘Eternal vigilance is the price of Freedom’”

Tourism: Is more always better?

In New South Wales, the number of visits to the state’s national parks is topping more than 60 million for the first time. This is great news for regional economies – these visits generated as much as $21.35 billion in spending. It also puts pressure on our national parks and other natural areas. This highlights the need for governments to provide adequate funds for the upkeep of our parks and to manage the impacts of ever more visitors on the natural systems in the parks.

There is an interesting program underway in Colorado, which is seeking to decentralise the visitation of tourists rather than encourage more people to visit. Colorado is a huge tourism destination and this generates enormous income. However, it also causes problems for roads, resorts, national parks and local residents. In 2017, the Colorado Tourism Roadmap transformed the state’s call to encourage more tourists to visit into a more focused campaign promoting sustainable travel experiences.

Continue reading “Tourism: Is more always better?”

New ‘iconic’ walk with private huts planned for Tasmania’s Tyndall Range

Tasmanian premier Will Hodgman has announced that ‘Tasmania’s wild West Coast has been chosen as the preferred location for our Next Iconic Walk’.

The area selected is the remote and wild Tyndall Range. This ‘iconic walk’ will be similar to the Overland and Three Capes Tracks, where private hut networks have been built. The Range is known for its rock climbing on conglomerate cliffs up to 300m in height, glacial lakes and alpine areas and ‘out of the way’ nature.

The government says “A signature Liberal election commitment, up to $20 million will be invested to deliver our next iconic multi-day, hut-based walk which will enhance the visitor economy throughout the entire region”. According to the proponent, the proposal includes the option of “a private walking company .. investing in the development of private lodges similar to that of Three Capes Track”.

Continue reading “New ‘iconic’ walk with private huts planned for Tasmania’s Tyndall Range”

Lake Malbena developer appeals refusal of project

In February this year, the Central Highlands Council in Tasmania rejected the Lake Malbena tourism development.

The controversial ‘helicopter tourism’ development planned for Halls Island in Lake Malbena on Tasmania’s central plateau had previously been approved by state and federal governments. The local Council was the last government authority which needed to sign off on the project. It had been hoped that the rejection by Council would be the end of the proposal.

However, the developer has lodged an appeal against this decision. Hearings are currently underway in Hobart.

Continue reading “Lake Malbena developer appeals refusal of project”

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