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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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Tourism

What’s happening with the Tyndall Range walk proposal?

Mountain Journal has previously reported on the planned walking track through the Tyndall Range in western Tasmania. The TAS government wants to see it developed as the next ‘iconic walk’ in the state. This will mean considerable walking track development in what is currently a remote and undeveloped area, and could bring up to 10,000 people a year into a delicate alpine environment. As stated by the Tasmanian National Parks Association (TNPA), ‘construction of any hardened track on the Tyndall Range and Plateau would mar the landscape and destroy its wild and natural character’.

This is an update on the status of this proposal.

Continue reading “What’s happening with the Tyndall Range walk proposal?”

Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing ‘resurfaces’

The Victorian National Parks Association (VNPA) reports that ‘Originally proposed in a 2008 (and long obsolete) Nature Based Tourism Strategy, a Falls to Hotham ‘icon’ tourist walk has been re-invigorated yet again’.

For some background to this project, check this page for various articles from Mountain Journal.

Continue reading “Falls to Hotham Alpine Crossing ‘resurfaces’”

Lake Rodway commercial hut proposal reaches planning stage

The proposal for a commercial hut (a lodge) at Lake Rodway, below Cradle Mountain, has been on the cards for several years. It was one of the first proposals submitted to the Tasmanian government’s Expressions of Interest process to encourage commercial development in national parks and World Heritage Areas in 2015.

The proposal was originally called the ‘Cradle Base Camp Experience’. The proponent is the Tasmanian Walking Company (TWC), which currently operates the Cradle Huts, Bay of Fires and Three Capes (private huts) walks.

The proposal has now reached the detailed planning stage, with a Parks and Wildlife Service Reserve Activity Assessment (RAA) expected in the next few months. The TWC stated that this would be a Level 4 RAA (the highest level of scrutiny which includes public comment).

Continue reading “Lake Rodway commercial hut proposal reaches planning stage”

‘Eco Pod’ development funded for Buffalo Plateau

The Victorian Government has announced it is ‘investing in the future of Mount Buffalo as a 12-months-a-year tourism destination through support for new “eco pod” accommodation’ at a cost of $1.5 million. The government is also seeking private investment for a cafe within the Mount Buffalo Chalet.

The following is from a media release from the Victorian premier.

Continue reading “‘Eco Pod’ development funded for Buffalo Plateau”

No Fast Track for dodgy developers in Tasmania

The community continues to oppose plans by the Tasmanian government to radically increase private commercial development in the state’s national parks and World Heritage Areas.

However, the government continues to push ahead with it’s anti environment agenda. Now it’s proposed Major Project Legislation is back for a third time and this version should ring alarm bells for everyone concerned about protecting wild places.

Main concerns about the legislation when it comes to wild places like World Heritage Areas include:

  • The Major Projects Bill gives the minister total power to declare a major project which removes it from the normal local council planning process, and virtually any development that would normally go to a local council could be declared a major project.
  • All controversial projects around Tasmania such as the cable car on kunanyi/ Mt Wellington or the Lake Malbena Helicopter proposal could be fast tracked.
  • The community will have no right to appeal against the approval of a major project and will have limited right to have input.

Please make a submission – we have until May 15 2020.

Continue reading “No Fast Track for dodgy developers in Tasmania”

Fast tracking development in Tasmania’s wilderness

The ongoing attempts by the Tasmanian government to encourage commercial developments in the state’s national parks and wilderness areas continues. While the high profile ‘helicopter tourism’ proposal planned for Lake Malbena on the Central Plateau has dominated the conversation in the last few months, a broader threat to the integrity of the reserve system is becoming apparent.

This relates to the draft Land Use Planning and Approvals Amendment (Major Projects) Bill 2020, which could facilitate these type of developments by ‘fast tracking’ such proposals.

The Wilderness Society condemned the Tasmanian Liberal Party’s ‘plan to strip away Tasmania’s already questionable planning safeguards, to further reduce the public’s role in planning and fast-track development proposals in national parks’.

They say there are ‘30 or so national park privatisation proposals’ (commercial tourism) in the pipeline for the World Heritage Area’. If this legislation gets through parliament, there is a fear that many of these proposals could be fast-tracked and with very little opportunity for the public to have input to the decision making process.

Continue reading “Fast tracking development in Tasmania’s wilderness”

Malbena Rally: Rewild Launceston!

The long campaign against commercial tourist developments in national parks and World Heritage Areas continues.

A flash point  in this campaign is the ‘eco tourism’ development planned for Lake Malbena will introduce ‘helicopter tourism’ to the central plateau of Tasmania. Approvals have been ‘waved through’ by the federal government, and then been bogged down in legal processes.

To highlight opposition to ‘helicopter tourism’, The Wilderness Society and Walkers and Fishers Against Helicopter Access Tasmania have organised a rally in Launceston on Sunday April 5.

Continue reading “Malbena Rally: Rewild Launceston!”

#RollOnBack to mountain towns this autumn

Finally, after affecting more than 1.5 million hectares of Victoria, all the fires are out. It’s the same story in NSW and the ACT and towns are fully ‘open for business’. Of course all mountain areas have suffered economically over summer, with lost business and less work. While some areas remain closed (for instance, significant sections of the Australian Alps Walking Track remain closed) the vast majority of mountains areas are getting on with life.

Now is the time to get out and visit mountain areas and spend up big, to help communities get back on their feet.

Continue reading “#RollOnBack to mountain towns this autumn”

Reclaim Malbena Hobart update

The long running attempt by developers to establish a helicopter accessed ‘eco lodge’ on Halls Island in Lake Malbena in Tasmania’s Central Plateau is part of a larger agenda to open up areas of wilderness and World Heritage to new commercial tourism operations.

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. There was then a challenge in the Supreme Court, followed by an appeal.

There is still a long way to go before the proposal can proceed, and the community campaign against the proposal keeps growing.

Hobart people are encouraged to attend a public meeting to hear about what’s happening and how to get involved in the campaign against this development. Wednesday February 12.

Continue reading “Reclaim Malbena Hobart update”

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