Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli access

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

Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli access

Postby Richard W » Sat 07 Apr, 2018 1:11 pm

I have been following RiverFly 1864's proposal to build a permanent standing camp on Halls Island, inside the Walls of Jerusalem WHA.

Access will be via helicopter to a new helipad and track to be built just south of Lake Malbena.

The proposal has now been posted on the Federal Environment Department EPBC website, so it must require approval under the EPBC Act 1999.

http://epbcnotices.environment.gov.au/invitations/, number 2018/8177.

They have invited public comment, which closes on 17 April.

Pretty extraordinary that they are able to do this inside the boundary Walls of Jerusalem WHA.

Stage II, according to the proposal, will be a new, walking track to Mount Oana, likewise inside the WHA - at the moment there are not even footpads in this area.

I understand how the original owner was able to get a lease on Halls Island in 1955, and how that lease passed to his daughter.

What I don't understand is how Riverfly 1864 were able to get that lease transferred to them in the last few years. Shouldn't the lease have been transferred to the Government so Halls Island could be incorporated into the Walls of Jersualem National Park?

The proposal is for 30 trips a year - assuming 4 days per trip that essentially puts Halls Island off-limits to the public for 120 days a year.

Aside from that, the precedent for private developments in remove parts of the WHA where there are not even any formed tracks at present, and helicopter access for clients, is an extremely negative development in my view.

I've been visiting Halls Island most years since 1995 - I would be extremely sorry to see it developed as proposed.

Interested to hear people's thoughts on it.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby oldpiscator » Sat 07 Apr, 2018 5:57 pm

RiverFly1864 already have semi-permanent huts established at Lake Ina on Skullbone Plains. Sounds a bit greedy to me. Not keen on the idea of allowing helicopters to overfly the area.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby taswegian » Sat 07 Apr, 2018 7:04 pm

Sad! Sign of the times!
An increasing intrusion into the domain of those that escape the life these 'developments' introduce into these special places.

I see the lease is 39.99 m2. That's tiny.
Ironic that such a minute area of land can effect so much intrusion.

Those that fly in would not know much about the lifestyle they are usurping, nor the feeling of having helicopters clattering overhead and spoiling the tranquility.
I imagine once they step out of the machine and into the world we enjoy they would never know what the fuss is about.

Is this the thin edge of the wedge?
Is this another area for those who oppose such to be labeled 'AntiEverything'?

How one counters that attitude, plus the aspect 'everyone should have access to these areas' , along with the 'you're just selfish' (when opposing such) is the key to relating to the issues at stake and helping put an effective case before those who need to know and who have the ability to influence and direct the future of the wild areas of Tasmania.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Neo » Sat 07 Apr, 2018 7:08 pm

Not good.

Completely opposite to what NP, WHA and going camping is all about :(
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Neo » Sat 07 Apr, 2018 7:11 pm

A suggested movement for those who object:

Pitch a durable tent (or tarp!) on the location and take turns trekking there and sleeping overnight to prevent development.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby ofuros » Sat 07 Apr, 2018 7:49 pm

Screenshot_2018-04-07-19-40-38.png

Screenshot_2018-04-07-19-40-45.png

Screenshot_2018-04-07-19-40-58.png
Mountains view are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Nuts » Sun 08 Apr, 2018 1:48 pm

'Customer Exclusion Zone', not really though, are they.. 'Lower Discretionary Income Exclusion Zone'? Locals Exclusion Zone? Mates Only Zone?

Meanwhile, a few hills north-west we have an unknown number of developments, with indeterminate locations.. given the green flag- right in the pristine heart of a World heritage area, and National park.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby tastrax » Sun 08 Apr, 2018 5:33 pm

The customer exclusion zones are because of the threatened species and sphagnum beds
Cheers - Phil

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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Nuts » Sun 08 Apr, 2018 6:06 pm

Ah, thanks Phil, I did wonder what distinguished the pink and yellow as not being 'customer exclusion zones'...
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Nuts » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 11:07 am

Is there public info showing that (indicated) as sphagnum distribution?
I got some threatened flora layers showing rarer/endemic tree species:

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 6.16.31 pm.png
Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 6.16.31 pm.png (49.93 KiB) Viewed 2988 times


Someone with a longer association on Halls island, the area and any specific issues, they could share their submission here?
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby taswegian » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 1:02 pm

Why government would ever consider ANY development on an island in a lake in that area is beyond belief.
What do the scientists have to offer?

It's interesting I see the flight path is not over known eagles areas.
Don't humans (walking only ones) get afforded any similar protection?

Am I being skeptical in assuming the no go areas are just on paper only? Who's going to take notice of that? Police it?
A few vine juice bottles later, a beautiful moonlit night, a random stroll on their exclusive island. They're only human after all.

Will those sites be independently inspected for degradation?
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby taswegian » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 1:27 pm

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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby taswegian » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 1:31 pm

tastrax wrote:The customer exclusion zones are because of the threatened species and sphagnum beds

I'd suggest ecosystems such as these (islands in WHA) are threatened, not just the sub whatevers that are on/in such areas.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Nuts » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 3:26 pm

Islands within WHA are often the pinnacle of preciousness. I know exclusivity and income are a driving desire but it's WHA, represents a boundary the world set to contain such greed.

http://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/533 ... r-comment/

I doubt concerns will go far & wide without some sort of hand-holding for those who would like to voice their concern, not just the tech & bureaucracy savvy. Many older folk (walkers & fishers), they'll be lost with such submissions. A federal inquiry into to all WHA Expressions Of Interest would be nice. As would appropriate time periods for appeals.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby tastrax » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 7:52 pm

Have a play on ListMap and you can find out plenty of info on the island

https://maps.thelist.tas.gov.au/listmap ... kId=271206

Open Layers on the right hand side to see what it all means
Cheers - Phil

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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby tastrax » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 8:09 pm

Nuts wrote:Is there public info showing that (indicated) as sphagnum distribution?
I got some threatened flora layers showing rarer/endemic tree species:

Screen Shot 2018-04-08 at 6.16.31 pm.png


Someone with a longer association on Halls island, the area and any specific issues, they could share their submission here?


Yep - check out their own documents

http://epbcnotices.environment.gov.au/_ ... 3268397956
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby taswegian » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 9:35 pm

Halls Island
The link below gives more details - I think TasTrax beat me to it?
http://epbcnotices.environment.gov.au/_entity/annotation/6fdfc222-f732-e811-886f-005056ba00a8/a71d58ad-4cba-48b6-8dab-f3091fc31cd5?t=1523250150217

Here's a few details.
Having made many submissions on behalf of others and seen the outcomes, one becomes weary from the way these things are put together.

From FlyLife forum
At some point we have to acknowledge these elephants in the room. And that will be a tough conversation, because one person's pest is another's prize: as a stuffed trophy or their next meal.
The first thing we might learn from Predator Free New Zealand is that not everyone wants to live in it.


The above is a good summation of my thoughts.

To me if something is so sensative as to needing protection from intrusion then why advocate such intrusion only to say how such can be limited or mitigated. Just don't go there. Full Stop!

The submission is carefully crafted as it highlights the past history of mankind's interference in the area to justify this proposal.
Hence an argument as to why this new venture doesn't really matter.
Good land management along with regeneration doesn't make excuses for past and even well meaning practices to excuse a continued use.
How can you offer "Improved conditions and protection for the EPBCA listed sphagnum peatland" by increasing the stress on an already stressed or sensitive area?

Interestingly they say there's unlikely any Aboriginal heritage, but then list the same heritage as something to be studied and explained.

List doesn't show the island as leased only that pocket handkerchief area that wouldn't house the proposed footprint for 3 of 4mx3m and a 8mx4m building footprint. 36 m² and 32 m².

The activities are interesting. Carefully worded to tick the right boxes. (I've been there, done that only to see the sad reality at the end, when all that wonderful stuff is (not) implemented.)
Once permits are issued there's reluctance or no interest to check outcomes or accountability.

I'm coming at this with a realistic approach from past, personal experience. I'll acknowledge not all are tarred with the same brush, but this???

.............................
From the document.

The primary theme of the project is one of cultural immersion, built around Reg Hall and Walls of Jerusalem National Park narrative.
This theme is to be enhanced by world-class interpretation of the listed Outstanding Universal Values found in the World Heritage area.
Key target markets will be discerning travellers looking for new discoveries, deep heritage and strong narratives, natural encounters and lean luxury.
Activities will include kayaking, hill-walking, cultural interpretation, wildlife viewing, and the chance to participate in choreographed 'citizen-science' style field trips with guest-experts in the fields of science, art and culture. On-island activities will include continuing with the sixty-year history of poetry and art on the island, astronomy, botany, bird watching and flora and fauna interpretation.
The small-scale, niche operation is aimed at the very top-end of the market. Ensuring that the proposed activities and outcomes are sensative to the environmental and social expectations of operations in the TWWHA (Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area), the scale will be extremely low: a maximum of 30 trips annually, with just 6 customers per trip.

Halls Island is a location with previous and existing European human activity and built heritage (settlement), and obvious long-term disturbance to Apparent Naturalness. Haflinger 4wd's, horses and floatplanes have all been used regularly as means of access during the past sixty years.

3. Camp Design
The infrastructure would facilitate a high-level of visitor comfort and delivery of high-quality, tailored interpretation.
The camp design would include:
-Three twin-share accommodation buildings, of approximately 4mx3m.
-One central kitchen/communal hut, of approximately 8mx4m
-Associated toiletry building (S), designed as complete-capture pod systems for removal of all sewage and grey-water,


hours of flight time is currently projected for the construction process.
-On-site construction will be performed with the use of hand tools, and battery-operated tools. A
small four-stroke generator will be used to re-charge drills etc as required. It is planned that the
camp will be installed to lock-up stage within a 20-30 day period.

Halls Island is leasehold (under lease to the proponent), within the Walls of Jerusalem National Park.

Outcome 2: Improved conditions and protection for the EPBCA listed sphagnum peatland on Halls Island, through the appropriate installation and use of perforated, raised boardwalk where appropriate.

Outcome 6: Improved knowledge of the Aboriginal cultural values of the area, through partnerships with local Aboriginal communities and organisations, and increased Access to Country opportunities created and provided by the proposal.


Its definitely for the well healed - says that straight out.
If something is so really really precious that we need to better understand, appreciate, and come to love, then is it right that such wonderful information of such iconic places are the exclusive domain of the rich?
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Richard W » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 9:51 pm

"...The submission is carefully crafted as it highlights the past history of mankind's interference in the area to justify this proposal..."

Yes, another contradiction. It's both pristine enough to justify a helicopter access luxury camp and degraded enough that this camp doesn't really make much difference in the scheme of things.

I first went to Halls Island in 1995 and have been going back most years since then.

The Haflinger 4WD track referenced in the submission is presumably the one that heads up to the saddle toward Mary's Tarn from the north end of Olive Lagoon.

It was barely visible in 1995 and no trace of it remains today.

There's about 20m of rusting fence wire near Mary's Tarn - other than the hut itself I have never seen any other evidence of human impacts in the immediate area.

The Central Walls had Hereford cattle grazing in it until 1970. few would argue that Dixon's Kingdom is barely worth preserving as a result.

I will be very interested to clarify the exact status of the island.

Daniel Hackett says that the island is leased to him (pg. 24 of the submission), and the privately owned hut on a separate leasehold is also leased to him.

As pointed out, ListMAP does not show the island as leased to anyone. The only lease shown is a 6 x 6 m lease, which is also not located exactly at the hut site.

I'd be very interested to find out more about the lease issue, it seems to be central to the proposal.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby tastrax » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 10:07 pm

Lease/Licence is under negotiation only

https://www.cg.tas.gov.au/home/investme ... m_projects

also note change of aircraft from seaplane to helicopter

https://riverfly.com.au/resources/hallsislandmedia/
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby tastrax » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 10:26 pm

https://riverfly.com.au/fly-fishing/three-day-huts/ - existing huts at Skullbone Plains

is this their site at Skullbone Plains? https://maps.thelist.tas.gov.au/listmap ... kId=271218
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Richard W » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 10:40 pm

Yes, I lost interest in this proposal after the seaplane companies went out of business.

I naively thought that helicopter landing in the TWWHA would not be permitted and so the proposal would not be viable.

Interesting that they propose to use non-powered watercraft on the lake but there is no mention of jetties or landings. How will the risk of erosion or damage to the lake shore be controlled?

If the proposal is for jetties or other constructions in the water, why is there no mention of potential impacts on water quality, aquatic life etc?

Presumably a jetty or other landing would be required to safely ferry all the less-physically capable members of the community that they are going to fly in there by helicopter.

As for 'no alternatives to the proposal', I would have thought an obvious alternative would be an expansion of the skullbone plain operation.

I.e foot access only from Lake Ina. How about tent platforms only, if they must have infrastructure there?

I guess the 'luxury camp' market aren't into that.

Really, there is a whole sliding scale from 'no access' to 'luxury standing camp' .

I was hoping that this proposal would be the one that is ultimately rejected, as it really does represent the extreme of arc out of all the proposals.

All of the other proposals are either for zero impact (gallagher plateau) or for areas that are already heavily visited and/or contain significant infrastructure (Walls of Jerusalem, South Coast Track etc).

If it is approved, then I expect we will eventually see helicopter access to the entire TWWHA. Presumably heli-fishing will be Daniel Hackett's next project.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby taswegian » Mon 09 Apr, 2018 10:45 pm

Can't answer that except they give its accuracy to very fine limits so its recent.
What ticks me off is this. See the vehicle tracks under the water and the tracks leading through boggy areas (to east of this screenshot) to get there. I assume they are. Not scratches on the negative :roll:
And this is Nature Conservation?? The mind boggles.
Address
'CENTRAL PLATEAU CONSERVATION AREA' - LAKE AUGUSTA RD CENTRAL PLATEAU TAS 7304
administered by Parks

Wheres NNW? She'll go ballistic. :x :x :x
Ina.JPG
approaches to Ina


Actually the place is rather decrepit.
A look about that shore area and nearby has tracks and boggy sections. And they aren't showing signs of recovery.
I see that title was dealt with in 2011 (is that when it changed hands?), so plenty of time for regeneration in that time.
Looks like its actually discouraged not encouraged - regeneration that is.

As a caveat to my comment I'm not sure what year that aerial is.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby north-north-west » Tue 10 Apr, 2018 10:22 am

taswegian wrote:Wheres NNW? She'll go ballistic. :x :x :x.


She's still going ballistic over logging and mining and 4WD damage in the Tarkine. And the proposed huts on the South Coast Track. And the proposed South East Cape walk. And . . .
This is just one more to add to the list. Any more and my head will explode.

Richard W wrote:All of the other proposals are either for zero impact (gallagher plateau)...


First I've heard of there being a proposal to do anything to Gallagher. Maybe I should have waited a few years instead of scrub bashing my way out there.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Nuts » Tue 10 Apr, 2018 11:24 am

Thanks Phil, as you can see a few posts above it came from LIST, you can add in threatened flora, I just didn't see a layer showing sphagnum beds... anyhow..

If the hub was built anywhere outside WHA it may give some support to a role in 'citizen science', including conservation or habitat restoration, things which hahaha.. don't rate a mention.

Richard, I believe there are other proposals now in place to land choppers within WHA (for canyoning? or some other such important reason)
I seem to recall they only want a few trips a year as well.. I seem to recall the (Liberal government's) CM huts company was happy with four huts, I hear they were happy to cater for public hut overflow.. etc etc..
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby tastrax » Tue 10 Apr, 2018 2:23 pm

Nuts wrote:Thanks Phil, as you can see a few posts above it came from LIST, you can add in threatened flora, I just didn't see a layer showing sphagnum beds... anyhow..


I think the LIST layers just have the wrong vegetation code - should be MSP not ASP (Which doesn't exist)

http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/Documents/TASV ... tadata.pdf
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby pazzar » Tue 10 Apr, 2018 3:35 pm

tastrax wrote:
Nuts wrote:Thanks Phil, as you can see a few posts above it came from LIST, you can add in threatened flora, I just didn't see a layer showing sphagnum beds... anyhow..


I think the LIST layers just have the wrong vegetation code - should be MSP not ASP (Which doesn't exist)

http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/Documents/TASV ... tadata.pdf


ASP is the new code for Spaghnum Moss communities. MSP communities will be changed to ASP in time.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Rick » Tue 10 Apr, 2018 5:53 pm

https://www.facebook.com/groups/tasmani ... 335415242/

Just sharing the thoughts from us Fly Fishers.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby tastrax » Tue 10 Apr, 2018 6:47 pm

pazzar wrote:ASP is the new code for Spaghnum Moss communities. MSP communities will be changed to ASP in time.


Thanks Pazzar - I couldn't figure out which one was right. Good to see the version on LIST is correct. I have advised LIST that the metadata (where you can usually get the full codes list) is missing from the website.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Richard W » Tue 10 Apr, 2018 9:10 pm

For anyone thinking of making a submission, it would be worth contacting the epbc.referrals@environment.gov.au address and requesting that they extend the time frame to accept public comments.

Reasons for an extension include:

1. The proposal originally being for access by float-plane. As far as I know, the submission to the EPBC, made on March 28, is the first information that the proponent is actually planning to use helicopters for access instead. This is quite a change and would be the first time helicopters would be permitted to land inside the TWWHA.

2. Right to information request has been submitted to find out more detail about the Parks and Wildlife Reserve Activity Statement and Risk Assessment that was conducted. This RAA is mentioned extensively in the submission but is confidential. A Right to Information request has been submitted but this may take 20 business days to obtain.

3. The proponent states that he has a lease over the entire island, but only a 39.9 m2 lease at the hut site is recorded at ListMAPS and other publically accessible sources. The status of the leasehold needs to be clarified in order to make an accurate comment.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby vertigrator » Tue 10 Apr, 2018 9:22 pm

taswegian wrote:Actually the place is rather decrepit.
A look about that shore area and nearby has tracks and boggy sections. And they aren't showing signs of recovery.
I see that title was dealt with in 2011 (is that when it changed hands?), so plenty of time for regeneration in that time.
Looks like its actually discouraged not encouraged - regeneration that is.

As a caveat to my comment I'm not sure what year that aerial is.


I reckon those tracks would be from pre 1950s. I walked into Lake Fergus a month ago and was amazed at how the tracks on the eastern side that got closed in about 1960 are still highly visible. They certainly aren't going to get taken over by the plants anytime soon. The other thing that amazed me was the number of broken bottles all along the track, from 'the good old days' when people would get pissed on the 4wd journey in and toss their bottles out the window. My how times have changed in the last 50 years! Well for most of us anyway.
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