Conserve & Manage Why can’t wilderness just be sacred… LAKE MALBENA! (2nd Ed.)

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    Good news from the “Fishers and Walkers Tasmania” Facebook page:

    ”Raise a glass and a massive shout out to the Environmental Defenders Office and the The Wilderness Society and everyone of you who has and will continue to stand up for our wild places. More to come….”




    And a tad more from the Tasmanian National Parks Association (also from Facebook):

    ”Well, we stuck to our guns and the Supreme Court of Tasmania today agreed with us that a permit for a tourism development at Lake Malbena should not have been issued.

    This is a big win for the Wilderness World Heritage Area and those of us trying to uphold its values in the face of a push towards privatisation of our protected areas.

    Thank you for all your support on this important test case, Wilderness Society Tasmania, which is also part of the action, and our legal team at Environmental Defenders Office.

    The matter now goes back to the Resource Management and Planning Appeals Tribunal to reconsider the permit. Get the latest updates on this issue by signing up to our free newsletter the Buttongrass Bulletin at“




    Great news Barry.






    Another welcome court decision. There is more info now on the Hobart Mercury’s digital platform for those who have access.



    Just read it, great news.



    But it’s not over  yet!

    Please keep the pressure on.

    Here is a petition




    I totally agree that it is far from over! The proponent has vowed to fight on; he (and/or his backers) must have deep pockets, trying to defend a project which will only generate 3 FTE jobs!


    Greg French

    The Supreme Court’s Malbena decision handed down yesterday (15 September) was much better than most of us dared hope for. It is certainly a bigger win than is being reported in the media – we got exactly what we wanted.

    For years now, the government has pulled out all stops to avoid the Malbena project being properly scrutinised. Up until now, everything has deferred to the Reserve Activity Assessment process undertaken in September 2017. The RAA process is not defined in law (it’s merely a PWS policy document). Part of the RAA was written by the developer himself. The sections that were written by the PWS were prepared by someone with little knowledge of the 2016 TWWHA Management Plan. The PWS undertook in-house assessments devoid of public input or external expert advice. None of the RAA was made public, and even if it was – even if the public knew that the RAA violated rules and provisions of the 2016 TWWHA Management Plan – there was no legal avenue for objection. All anyone was able to do was question the legality of the process itself.

    Now that we have won, the tribunal (RMPAT) that overturned the Central Highland Council’s decision to disallow the proposal has to assess the project against the provisions of the Management Plan. The government didn’t want this to happen because they know as well as we do that the project does not comply. It’s certainly not done and dusted yet, but things are looking pretty good.

    Also, costs were awarded against the developer and the government. (You’ve got to wonder who’ll be paying the developer’s share.)

    I want to acknowledge the Wilderness Society, the Tasmanian National Parks Association, Richard Webb and Paul Smith who shouldered the financial risk of the appeals and put in countless hours liaising with the Environmental Defenders Office. The EDO’s lawyers, Claire Bookless and Nicole Sommer were brilliant, and so too were the barristers, Juliet Forsyth SC and Rutendo Muchinguri, all of whom devoted a huge amount of time to the case. Those of us who love the Western Lakes (and democracy) owe these people a huge debt of gratitude.



    People Power! Congrats to all who participated in bringing this farce to heel….



    Thank you Greg for putting together that assessment of where the case stands. Thats possibly the best bit of understandable language presented to date!  Like many others I sincerely hope the RMPAT manages to resist or ignore the inevitable Govt pressure which will surely be applied.

    I just wish the gag order on the PWS crew would get set aside. Knowing some of the Rangers, it would be truly excellent  entertainment to have them let loose and free to have their say. But then there would be Mr. Jacobi to contend with when one returned to work on Monday…

    well done to all those mentioned in your post, as this  could so easily have just been stamped and started without them.

    Slightly more confident…Jimmy



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