For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
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Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby bogholesbuckethats » Mon 16 Mar, 2020 4:46 pm


Fed Govt tight-lipped on $3M for private project in Tasmania’s World Heritage Wilderness
Taxpayers will stump up half of the cash towards the estimated $5.9 million to build six huts on a track in the Tasmanian World Heritage Wilderness.

DAVID KILLICK, Mercury


THE Federal Government is refusing to release the details of a multimillion-dollar grant made to a private developer seeking to build huts in a wilderness area under a discredited grants scheme.

Taxpayers will stump up $2.95 million towards the estimated $5.9 million to build six huts along the South Coast Track in the Tasmanian World Heritage Wilderness.

The developer behind the award-winning Maria Island Walk, Ian Johnstone is negotiating with the State Government for the exclusive rights to build and operate the huts under the controversial Expressions of Interest process.


“It provides a new opportunity for people to walk in this remarkable wilderness in safety and without having to carry a heavy pack,” the project blurb says.

The grant was provided under the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages program — another federal government grants scheme which has come under fire for “administrative shortcomings” by the Australian National Audit Office.

Greens Senator Nick McKim has attempted to uncover details of the grant through the Senate Estimates Committee process, to no avail.

“The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science who manage the grant agreement on the Department’s behalf advise that they cannot provide a copy of the application and/or the grant agreement without the other grantee’s consent unless required or authorised by law or Parliament to disclose,” came the reply to questions.

Senator McKim said “the Liberals don’t understand the value of public spaces, public money and public accountability,” he said.

“Tasmanians deserve to know the terms of the agreement. After all, it’s their land that’s being privatised, and their money the Liberals are giving to a private business.

“We already know this money came from a fund that did not follow the rules.

“To claim ‘commercial in confidence’ as an excuse for not releasing this information is laughable. The entire EOI process was deliberately designed to be secretive and anti-competitive from day one.

“The cloud around the EOI process is damaging the tourism industry and risks turning away ethical investors.”

The National Audit Office found a panel of Coalition government ministers declined RJIP grant applications recommended for approval by bureaucrats — and approved many which were not recommended.

The initiative was designed to create jobs in key regional areas, including in Tasmania.

Around $27 million from the $220 million national program was allocated to 49 projects in Tasmania.

The marginal seat of Lyons received 53 per cent of the Tasmanian funding, while the safe

Labor-held seat of Franklin received 10 per cent. No grants were made in the safe, independent-held seat of Clark.

Around 25 per cent of Tasmanian projects recommended for approval by departmental officers were rejected by the ministerial committee.
That looks like a pad.
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby weetbix456 » Mon 16 Mar, 2020 7:20 pm

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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby Nuts » Wed 22 Apr, 2020 6:19 pm

"The key thing here though is that the assets that we have - the fantastic wilderness, the beautiful scenery, the Tasmania that so many of us for a long time took for granted but is now acknowledged around the world as being just such a fantastic location to visit - that will remain," Mr Gutwein said.
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby johnrs » Thu 23 Apr, 2020 10:51 am

This whole thing reminds me of Queensland back in Bjelke Petersens day.
Mates state, cronyism, dubious opaque process, private beneficiaries, alienation of public assets
Russ Hinze would be happy!
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby stepbystep » Sat 09 May, 2020 6:24 pm

FYI - media release today re Dove Lake viewing shelter. God knows how the best view of Dove Lake could possibly be from inside a building :shock: No wonder they don't want us visiting - it would be uber inconvenient. Anyone living within 30km, please go and take some photos!


9 May 2020

Roger Jaensch, Minister for Environment and Parks

Work begins on Dove Lake viewing shelter

In a boost for local jobs, work has now begun on a new state-of-the-art all-weather viewing shelter at Dove Lake that will offer visitors breathtaking views of the lake and iconic Cradle Mountain.

Construction of the new shelter is being undertaken by Devonport-based Vos Constructions, with the building designed by Cumulus Studio Architecture- delivering 73 direct and indirect jobs at a time when they are needed most.

Now is an ideal time for work to start on the new Dove Lake Shelter so that we can continue to deliver high quality visitor experiences in our parks and wilderness areas into the future.

Significant Infrastructure projects like this are vitally important and will provide contemporary facilities for locals and tourists to enjoy, while supporting our building and construction industry through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once complete, the Dove Lake Shelter will integrate with the new Cradle Mountain Gateway - offering visitors world-class facilities at the entrance to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA).

The new shelter will incorporate a walker registration and information area, interpretive materials, a landscaped courtyard, toilets and a bus shelter with a turning circle.

All work on the project is required to include new social distancing and personal hygiene measures to protect workers and contractors on site, with work expected to be complete by mid-2021.

The project is part of the Tasmanian Government’s $26.8 million commitment toward the development of the Cradle Mountain Master Plan.
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby Nuts » Tue 08 Dec, 2020 5:43 pm

This is an interesting exchange on wilderness developments and the state of the process. The details are typically beyond common knowledge but the results will be telling. To me the results are all that matters here, not twisted methods to bring them about.

An un-tracked/route through wilderness can be made a high grade walking track (or flight path). Access to extended areas of desiganted wilderness can be made exclusive and at the discretion of the developer. Public expectations are just in opposition because the method is poorly understood, yet almost every aspect is commercial-in-confidence because.. wilderness attributes are a hindrance to/at the expense of protected profits .

Nothing to panic about yet as final assessments need to be made. The same assessments that, at least while they still need to be made public, typically act as a checklist of minor details to be ironed out, between coerced agents and carefully vetted 'stakeholders', while the shovels are sharpened.

Ridiculous.

And effective political opposition to this mainstream abandonment of public interest (those public interested) comes from.. The Greens :roll:



https://tasmps.greens.org.au/parliament ... 6uQ1htpL5Q


P.S:
alison.standen@parliament.tas.gov.au
Shadow Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby Nuts » Wed 09 Dec, 2020 12:28 pm

And here's a rally for reserves, for tomorrow night:

Screen Shot 2020-12-09 at 1.17.59 pm.png


All Hobartian's parks passes are to be suspended for non-participation.
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby tastrax » Wed 09 Dec, 2020 7:48 pm

Date And Time
Thu., 10 December 2020
6:00 pm – 7:30 pm AEDT

Location
Hobart City Hall
57-63 Macquarie Street
Hobart, TAS 7000

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/ror-rec ... 0197715873
Cheers - Phil

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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby Nuts » Wed 09 Dec, 2020 8:41 pm

thanks Tastrax (thought I'd linked my word). Those I know, most aren't exactly pristine wilderness but all a part of a similar or ongoing sell-off.
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby Nuts » Tue 05 Jan, 2021 9:58 am

Nuts wrote:P.S:
alison.standen@parliament.tas.gov.au
Shadow Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage


Well, it's been month with no response. I guess we assume that there's no effective opposition.
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby myrtlegirl » Wed 06 Jan, 2021 11:21 am

Nuts wrote:
Nuts wrote:P.S:
alison.standen@parliament.tas.gov.au
Shadow Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage


Well, it's been month with no response. I guess we assume that there's no effective opposition.


Yep.
A small group met with Ms Standen in mid-2002 to discuss concerns about the Halls Island/Lake Malbena proposal. Among other things, Ms Standen thought the Three Capes development justified the Malbena proposal - she had no idea that World Heritage status is a whole other level of protection or uniqueness. Le sigh.

Not just ineffective, ignorant as well. But maybe ignorance can be educated.
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby Nuts » Wed 06 Jan, 2021 6:35 pm

Did you, hey good on you for trying!

I can imagine it is difficult to see more than $, and how that can only be a good thing. In the small world and meager lifespan of many state politicians.
Unless with some ingrained appreciation for nature or a larger world-view wilderness is just an untapped resource. And hordes of people already manipulated by advertised luxury offer a great potential voter resource or at least an excuse base.

Exactly why even projects like Three Capes matter/ed.
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby Nuts » Wed 10 Feb, 2021 2:40 pm

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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby FionaShedden » Thu 11 Feb, 2021 8:04 am

An excellent article - very well written. A very worrying trend Australia wide!
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby tastrax » Thu 11 Feb, 2021 8:34 am

Unfortunately bending the rules for developers in National Parks is becoming all too common. Everyone needs to stand up and be counted when these proposals are suggested.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-09/ ... e/13136516
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby Nuts » Thu 11 Feb, 2021 1:01 pm

I find this one hard to follow.
Environmental planning regulations were altered to exempt projects over 1 million dollars (which is just a sickening outcome in itself)
But then 'the majority of opponents' were satisfied with pods closer to the main walking track (even though the court case itself should have been nullified)?

A bit lost on who to support here. Same in Tassie, where the majority dissent seems populated by & limited by the influence TWC already has in the state.
Assuming a smart bunch of individuals, I can also only assume some deliberate ignorance? Or crafty manipulation?

Left squabbling over individual projects also seems a situation to delight developers and politicians, destined to fail the 'emotional' few? There just isn't any compromise to be had here :?

A national movement against exclusive use is being mentioned more often. I believe this is the scale necessary (unfortunately). Hopefully before all this development takes place and public users come to also realise the implications of having such private influence on management.
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby Nuts » Mon 15 Mar, 2021 5:57 pm

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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby stepbystep » Wed 05 May, 2021 5:13 pm

Things are ramping up remarkably quickly post election.

Maria Island Walks has been sold to an ASX listed bubble gum tourism operation - along with his proposals for the South Coast Track,

https://www.themercury.com.au/news/tasm ... ceccc87f5c

New operators of Maria Island Walk to progress three tourism proposals under contentious Expressions of Interest process
Three tourism proposals submitted under the state’s controversial expressions of interest process will progress, despite the operator who submitted them stepping away from the business.

THE outgoing operator of the Maria Island Walk says he will work with the new owner to progress three tourism proposals he had submitted under the state’s controversial expressions of interest process.

Ian Johnstone last month announced he was selling the multiple award-winning business he founded in 2002 to leading Australasian adventure travel company, the ASX-listed Experience Co.

Mr Johnstone has three proposals in progress under the EOI process which encourages tourism developments in the state’s national parks, reserves and crown lands.

He said one of them, for a proposal on the South Coast Track, was close to being released in draft form for public consultation.

A project for South East Cape is also in the works, and the third is a proposal for Maria Island.

“They are still very much alive and I’m going to be working with the new owners in progressing those,’’ Mr Johnstone said.

“I’m very keen to see all three of them go through the planning approvals process.”

The EOI process is contentious because proposals are kept secret until they are approved, and the government’s stated reason for that is to protect the intellectual property of the proponents.

Experience Co. chief executive John O’Sullivan said the company was keen to progress the tourism proposals alongside Mr Johnstone.

“We certainly see the further opportunities around them, but we’ve got a lot more work to do on them,’’ Mr O’Sullivan said.

“If they go ahead, we see an opportunity to profile more of Tasmania to Australians and the rest of the world.”

The Liberal government has long defended the scheme, saying it is “an open and transparent framework”, but critics disagree.

Fishers and Walkers Tasmania vice-president Dan Broun said he was concerned about the potential for EOIs to be progressed by larger companies with “deep pockets”.

Mr Broun said he was worried about the long-term implications of the EOI process.

“What’s happening with the EOI process is industrialising tourism in national parks,’’ he said.

“There are definitely ways to get more nature-based tourism on the fringes of the national parks and to get people into national parks to enjoy them.”

But Mr Broun said he was concerned about the preservation of the places.

“It’s world heritage listed for a reason,’’ he said.

However Mr O’Sullivan said he believed the developments could co-exist with protection of the environment.

“Experience Co has a great track record in working in highly sensitive environments in areas like the Great Barrier Reef, and we’re very mindful of the obligations of that,’’ he said.

Last year, a report by Tasmanian Auditor-General Rod Whitehead found the EOI process was “fundamentally sound” but had created just 53 jobs and made only a minor contribution to economic growth.

After the report’s release, Greens leader Cassy O’Connor was critical of the EOI process.

“The whole EOI process stinks and this is a truth that people from all over Tasmania increasingly understand,’’ she said.


We desperately need bushwalkers to lend their voices to this campaign. Our lobby group will be ramping up opposition very soon - launching a new website, an online store and a series of events we need help with.
We've just discovered PWS are employing six officers to expedite approvals to the 60 odd proposals over reserved land.
Please follow these socials and get ready to lend a hand.

https://www.facebook.com/FAWTas/posts/7 ... &ref=notif
https://twitter.com/AndFishers
@malbenamatters on Instagram

Thank you.
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby Jon MS » Thu 06 May, 2021 5:17 pm

This is a very good reason why we need an open and transparent process system.

One operator puts up a proposal but then sells it on prior to implementing anything. The new owner then builds something but not at an adequate standard.

Shades of what happened for the commercial huts on the Overland track.

A bit of history for those who are "less senior"...

In the mid 1980s the commercial huts on the Overland track were proposed by a mate of a "senior politician" who gave approval for the huts without any public comment or review. When the word got out the public outcry forced there to be a more open process and the original proponent did not get the contract.

The successful applicant was the Hobart franchise owner for a major outdoor equipment chain. He put up a much better proposal than the original applicant and as part of his proposal included comprehensive environmental safeguards. However, due to the adverse public outcry about the proposal, the outdoor equipment chain pulled his franchise, so he no longer had the money and backing to proceed with building the huts. As a result, he sold the proposal to the company that built the first round of Overland track huts.

Many of the aspects that were intended to provide environmental protection and reduce the huts footprint were not installed in the original build. Subsequently, over the years many of these have now been installed but it would have been better if they were put in from the start. For example, clients were going to be explicitly barred from bringing any of their own soap and they were going to be supplied with the most bio-degradable product available. It was also proposed to put in a chain of 3 water processing tanks to reduce as much as possible issues with grey water disposal.

A couple of years ago I had a long discussion with Ian Johnstone about huts on the South Coast track. One thing was very clear. Ian Johnson had a very poor knowledge of the region and appeared to have no idea of the state of the track. Several of his proposed hut locations were also very poorly chosen. For example, it makes no sense to put your hut on the western side of Louisa River unless you are assuming that a large bridge is going to be installed. Another of the huts was going to be very close to one of the most significant Aboriginal cultural sites.

I have made an estimate of what it will cost to bring the South Coast track up to the minimum standard required for the average walker who will be willing to pay for this type of commercial trip (ie similar to the Overland track but not to 3-Capes standard).

My estimate is that if the current track alignment is used it will cost about $47M. If some major re-routes were done, I estimate the cost could be reduced to about $35M. This is mainly because when Milford Fletcher put in the current track route he picked a less than optimal route.

If the new owner had to pay this I wonder if they would have been interested???

Also, these types of operations need daily departures to pay for the infrastructure. About 15% of days over summer the weather is too bad to fly in to Melaleuca by fixed wing aircraft. How can a business cope with cancelling an average of a trip a week at 12 to 24 hours notice.
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby Nuts » Fri 07 May, 2021 9:10 am

Ayeee! It didn't take them long, not doctors or housing or anything hi-tech but a hit squad on wilderness:

Screen Shot 2021-05-05 at 8.43.18 pm.png
Screen Shot 2021-05-05 at 8.43.18 pm.png (85.92 KiB) Viewed 1939 times


Thanks and full support to anyone involved in this fight. Yet another fight :roll:

Jon MS wrote:
Also, these types of operations need daily departures to pay for the infrastructure. About 15% of days over summer the weather is too bad to fly in to Melaleuca by fixed wing aircraft. How can a business cope with cancelling an average of a trip a week at 12 to 24 hours notice.


If you look at all the current SCT itineraries from commercial operators, they build in extra days (often nine days). Typically taken on the track but room to move if the departure is delayed. I suspect though, any hut operator will be looking to cut the overall time to a minimum, pressure or see off their competition.
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby stepbystep » Fri 07 May, 2021 9:40 am

I'm now fearful the huts on the SCT won't be about walking at all - simply fly in - fly out lodges.
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby stepbystep » Fri 21 May, 2021 9:41 am

The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders ~ Edward Abbey
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby stepbystep » Sun 23 May, 2021 6:16 am

It’s Australia wide. Here’s an event hosted by Wild Magazine editor James McCormack

https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/luxury- ... 3905961875
The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders ~ Edward Abbey
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby johnrs » Mon 24 May, 2021 10:50 am

This campaign is starting to go national now
https://www.bushwalkingnsw.org.au/bushw ... 0758MoKZAY
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby Nuts » Wed 26 May, 2021 8:20 am

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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby johnrs » Wed 23 Jun, 2021 11:33 am

And finally some good news for the Lake Malbena campaign
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https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-23/ ... /100236044
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 23 Jun, 2021 4:36 pm

John, thanks. There are similar problems for the Great Barrier Reef.
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-06-22/ ... /100233860
If one or both are delisted as WHA it will send a very strong message to governments.
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Re: For Sale - Pristine Tasmanian Wilderness

Postby gayet » Wed 23 Jun, 2021 4:40 pm

Lophophaps wrote:If one or both are delisted as WHA it will send a very strong message to governments.

Or they will leap about with cries of joy because now the fetters are removed
:(
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