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Mountain Journal

Environment, news, culture from the Australian Alps

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World Heritage

Help stop planned ‘helicopter tourism’ in the Walls of Jerusalem

Tasmania is blessed with beautiful and intact landscapes and an impressive network of national parks. However, World Heritage Areas and national parks have long been targeted by developers who want to establish commercial tourist operations in a number of places (check here for a current list of proposed developments). One of these proposals would see helicopter tourism inside the Walls of Jerusalem National Park in central Tasmania at Halls Island in Lake Malbena.

You have a chance to say NO to this development.

Continue reading “Help stop planned ‘helicopter tourism’ in the Walls of Jerusalem”

Construction of cable car at Dove Lake one step closer

There has been a long public debate about the re-development of the northern end of the Cradle Mountain Lakes St Clair national park. The Tasmanian government has previously approved a revitalisation of facilities, which will see a new “gateway precinct” for the park. This will happen outside the park boundary and is generally not seen as being contentious.

What is more contested is a proposal to build a cable car from the new ‘gateway precinct’ to Dove Lake.

It has now been announced that the government is “sounding out interests for a public-private partnership to undertake the redevelopment of the Cradle Mountain visitor centre, as part of its potentially $160 million “Cradle Mountain Master Plan” to give the area a much-needed facelift”.

Continue reading “Construction of cable car at Dove Lake one step closer”

UNESCO concerned at TAS Gov rezoning wilderness areas to allow development

Tasmania is blessed with beautiful and intact landscapes and excellent protection of much of the state. World Heritage Areas and national parks have long been coveted by developers and these attempts to open up parks to commercial interests have been resisted – with varying degrees of success – over the years.

Under the current very pro ‘development’ Liberal government in Tasmania there are no end of proposals for private developments in national parks and other parts of the conservation network (check here for a current list).

This is being resisted strongly by many in the Tasmanian community and it is now being criticised internationally.

Continue reading “UNESCO concerned at TAS Gov rezoning wilderness areas to allow development”

New hut opened at Frenchmans Cap

Lake Tahune sits beneath the main face of Frenchmans Cap in south west Tasmania and the hut, nestled slightly above the lake, can be a real God send in bad conditions. While the old hut certainly did the job of providing a dry space to gather and sleep in an often cold and wet place, it was as if it was designed to ignore its surroundings.

This new one is certainly a lot nicer looking and it honours the magnificent terrain it is located in, with much larger windows and lots more natural light.

Continue reading “New hut opened at Frenchmans Cap”

More private development in Tasmania’s parks system?

Negotiations are underway to allow ‘no fewer’ than six private hut-based walks under the Tasmanian government’s wilderness tourism expression of interest program.

Continue reading “More private development in Tasmania’s parks system?”

Construction starts on Cradle Mountain tourist centre

In 2016 a new tourism plan for northern Tasmania has launched, which raised the possibility of there being new developments adjacent to the Cradle Mountain National Park. Its key intention was to greatly increase visitors to the north of the state.

Part of the detail of the plan included a ‘cable car’/ gondola which would run from just outside the northern boundary of the park into the park at Dove Lake. The cornerstone of the proposal was the development of new tourist centre, which is where the gondola would start from.

This week saw construction start on the $21.8 million ‘gateway precinct’ (ie new tourist centre) and Dove Lake re-development. According to Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania chief executive Luke Martin, the start of construction was “a significant day of epic proportion”.

Continue reading “Construction starts on Cradle Mountain tourist centre”

The Geeves Effect – another attack on wilderness

A group of investors are proposing a track to a remote wilderness lake at the base of Federation Peak in Tasmania’s South-West (Check here for our previous report).

They have developed a consortium called the Geeves Effect, and are pushing for a 2.5 km track extension to ‘provide walkers with views of Lake Geeves’. They say that ‘the bushwalk could rival Cradle Mountain and Three Capes Tracks as a tourism magnet’.

Since our last report on this proposal, more information has come to light. This comes from the Tasmanian National Parks Association.

Continue reading “The Geeves Effect – another attack on wilderness”

Tasmanian ALP pledges $30 million to Cradle Mountain cable car

In a worrying move, the ALP in Tasmania has announced that it will allocate $30 million if they win the next state election towards the cable car which is planned for the Cradle Mountain National Park in Tasmania.

The idea for a cable car was raised in a Master Plan for the Cradle Valley section of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park, which was developed by the Cradle Coast Authority.

The cable car would connect the Cradle Mountain visitor centre to Dove Lake. Construction of the cable car would require the Commonwealth Government to chip in another $30 million.

Continue reading “Tasmanian ALP pledges $30 million to Cradle Mountain cable car”

New track proposed close to Federation Peak

A group of investors are proposing a track to a remote wilderness lake at the base of Federation Peak in Tasmania’s South-West.

They have developed a consortium called the Geeves Effect, and are pushing for a 2.5 km track extension to ‘provide walkers with views of Lake Geeves’.

According to reports in The Mercury, they say that ‘the bushwalk could rival Cradle Mountain and Three Capes Tracks as a tourism magnet’.

The Bob Brown Foundation opposes what it calls an ‘invasion of the citadel of Tasmania’s wilderness by private enterprise using public money’, warning that it would open the door to private development.

Continue reading “New track proposed close to Federation Peak”

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