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.

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

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 05 Dec, 2019 9:02 pm

Great news indeed. I would have loved to see the expressions on the faces of the proponents and those supporting them when they learned of the Federal Court decision. Will this decision affect the Tasmanian process, and if so, how?
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Son of a Beach » Fri 06 Dec, 2019 7:31 am

Such great news. Still a long way to go for this thing to be stopped, but at last now the people, the public, should have an opportunity to have their opinions heard about the relevant issues (apart from if the building designs meet the building code, which is all that has been permitted so far).

Thanks to all at the EDO, and the Wilderness Society for forcing the federal government to work withing their own legal framework!

And thanks to those people who have donated to this legal action which has now achieved what it was aimed at.

If you can still get to Malbena this weekend, make sure you still do. There's a long way to go, and this issue needs to be made known to the general public who are largely still ignorant of it (I'm surprised at how many Tasmanians still have no idea that any of this is going on).
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby taswegian » Fri 06 Dec, 2019 12:52 pm

Early days but very good.
However it's getting people to the complaints area that is the hardest issue.
I've done countless development applications and the general public just don't get involved.
Out of our site, out of mind mentality.

Any objections need to flow from those who are aware but perhaps aren't directly influenced but are prepared to say even though it's not directly affecting them they disagree.
Most times it's not until a mobile phone tower, or other, is mooted "next door" the majority are silent.

That's a real issue, not just here, but in general, and is one of the main reasons (I'd suggest) why developers run roughshod over genuine concerns. Not enough opposition so they get their way.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 09 Dec, 2019 7:43 am

Any news or photos from those who went on the protest walk? I was unable to make it unfortunately.

There is a news article in the Advocate at https://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/65 ... the-wedge/ (and looks like probably the same article in the Examiner, but behind a paywall).
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby bogholesbuckethats » Mon 09 Dec, 2019 7:57 am

DECEMBER 8 2019 - 7:00PM
Protesters unite over tourist venture on Halls Island, Lake Malbena
Adam Holmes The Advocate


As mainland Australia burns, icy winds with misty rain buffeted the Central Plateau on Saturday, including the Aboriginal land of trawtha makuminya east of Lake Malbena.

Even from the edge of the Wilderness World Heritage Area, it was clear to see the appeal of the untouched Tasmanian landscape and temperate climate as an oasis in an ever-drying Australia, even if the island state is no stranger to wildfire.


This call of the wild has attracted eclectic groups - fly fishers, bush walkers, environmentalists and the guides who devote their careers to helping visitors experience the sensitive landscapes.

Rarely do these groups' causes overlap, until now.


They gathered at trawtha makuminya at the weekend to protest a proposal to establish four huts on Halls Island in Lake Malbena, where a helicopter would fly up to 30 groups of high-paying visitors to bedrock nearby during 60 days each year.

A group of eight protesters made a "symbolic" trek to the lake itself, and others walked to the nearby Olive Lagoon.


While all of the 150 protesters were opposed to the project, there was also a deeper underlying view: that this was just the "thin end of the wedge".


Reporter Adam Holmesspoke with protesters to find out why they oppose allowing private tourism development in wilderness areas.

'No need for a helicopter'

An avid paddler, Frenchman Pierre Feutry has made many trips to the wilderness since moving to Tasmania five years ago. He even stayed overnight at Halls Island once with some friends before they headed off on a packed rafting trip.

Mr Feutry came to the protest on Saturday with his partner Rosie Mollison and children Isabelle and Huon to voice their opposition to helicopter access.

He said the walk from the edge of the Wilderness World Heritage Area to Lake Malbena was not tough, and the walk itself was essential to gaining the full wilderness experience.

Ms Mollison also believed helicopter access would be harmful to the Western Lakes.

"I really love this area of Tasmania and I like the fact that it's free of the impacts of people and technology, and I'd like to keep it that way," she said.

"The helicopter would be really intrusive, it'd take away significantly from the ambience. I think it's destructive to the natural environment in a way that might be hard to quantify."

Privatisation concerns

Andrew Larner has worked as a guide for 16 years throughout Tasmania - including in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, home to Lake Malbena.

The Halls Island proposal has galvanised the guiding community, including Mr Larner.

"The privatisation of national parks and World Heritage Areas is why I'm here, and the helicopters - it's pretty bad when you've been walking a couple of days out and not hearing an engine and then you've got helicopters overhead," he said.

"It's a pretty loud, throbbing noise.

"I think if people want to take helicopters into places they can do it elsewhere in the world."

The Tasmanian Wilderness Guides Association has come out strongly against the Halls Island project.

Adrien Butler told the protest there was "concern, disbelief and frustration" at the proposal.

"We can see that our current state government has a particular vision for Tasmania, and we believe that this vision is short-term, self-serving and neglects the wilderness values," she said.

'Thin edge of the wedge'

When asked for his views on a helicopter flying visitors into a wilderness area, Miena fisherman Greg Pullen had a blunt response: "it p---es me off."

But his concerns went well beyond the Halls Island project.

"I really think that this is the thin end of the wedge. You get one development, then you get another development, where's the wilderness? Where is it? It's gone," Mr Pullen said.

Clockwise from top: Andrew Larner and Clinton Garratt, Greg Pullen and Cheryl Salter, Leonie Steindl, Rosie Mollison and Pierre Feutry with Isabelle and Huon, Darren Green and Frances Horan with Lois and Erin, and Robbie Jordan and Jerrym Pilon.
Clockwise from top: Andrew Larner and Clinton Garratt, Greg Pullen and Cheryl Salter, Leonie Steindl, Rosie Mollison and Pierre Feutry with Isabelle and Huon, Darren Green and Frances Horan with Lois and Erin, and Robbie Jordan and Jerrym Pilon.

"This is a pristine place and we need to keep these places. If you want to go in here, you've got to walk in. The value of getting in there is the walking in."

He believed the government's expressions of interest process was "clandestine" and robbed locals of their chance to have a say on development in wilderness areas.

For future generations


Fisherman Jerrym Pilon was among the eight to make the trek to Lake Malbena on Saturday, wanting to play a part in stopping wilderness development for the benefit of future generations - including his own 15-month-old son.

"This parcel of land really shouldn't just be given away for a dollar, and then the public can't even access it," he said.

"This is such a unique part of Tasmania. You can walk in here in half an hour and not hear a sound. If you have helicopters flying over the top, it just ruins the experience."

He was joined by mate Robbie Jordan, both regulars in the Western Lakes.

Hobart bushwalker Charles Chadwick also walked all the way to Lake Malbena, believing groups needed to make a stand now before a precedent was set.

"The wilderness is shrinking, both in Tasmania and elsewhere as well. It's so precious," he said.

"It's not wilderness if there's a helicopter going in and out. I am walking out there today to say this is World Heritage and Tasmanians can go here, you can't lock us out of this."

'It just doesn't seem fair'

Standing with his two young children Erin and Lois, Darren Green, of Nunamara, is not against using Tasmania's wilderness for tourism ventures, but believes there were better ways than the Halls Island project.

"I'm sure there would be a way to do it sustainably without compromising the values of the national parks. It just doesn't seem to play out that way at the moment," he said.

"There has been people who have been visiting that island for years - multiple generations - it just doesn't seem fair.

"I came because I would like future generations to be able to enjoy this part in the same way that we've been fortunate to enjoy it."

Frances Horan, of Launceston, said other parts of the world offered helicopter access to remote areas, but Tasmania's wilderness should only be accessed by foot.

"There's plenty of other places where you can get a helicopter where it's suitable," she said.

Where the proposal stands

The Halls Island fly fishing proposal has had a chequered history since it was first raised in 2015, emerging under the government's EOI process - one of many waiting in the wings.

It involves establishing three accommodation huts and a communal hut covering 64 square metres, and a helicopter landing several hundreds metres from Lake Malbena. The proponent estimated the "premium" tourism experience would have a price tag of $4500 per person for three nights.

The public made more than 1300 submissions against the proposal when it went before the Central Highlands Council, which rejected it, resulting in a planning tribunal appeal.

The tribunal found the council did not have the power to consider the submissions and the assessment had already occurred under the reserve activity assessment. Opponents claim the RAA offered no opportunity for submissions and that the government had rewritten the laws for this purpose. Parties are now proposing conditions on the project, and a further Supreme Court challenge seems likely.

At the same time, a Federal Court challenge to the federal government's decision to bypass a detailed assessment of the project was partially upheld, and Environment Minister Sussan Ley has set aside the earlier approval for reconsideration. The Environment Defenders Office argued the minister had not considered noise and impacts of World Heritage values.

Tasmanian Attorney-General Elise Archer defended the government's approvals process.

"It's now ended up in the Federal Court and the determination there shows that the process works, that people throughout the planning process can have their say," she said.

"Our government is not against people peacefully protesting as long as it doesn't impact - in that situation - on the environment."

The Federal Court decision also impacted the protest, with the Wilderness Society told it would need an environmental assessment. Individuals had to make their own decision on walking to Lake Malbena.

Organiser Greg French told those gathered that they would keep fighting.

"[This] will be withdrawn only when the government realises that persisting with it is political poison," he said
That looks like a pad.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 09 Dec, 2019 10:24 am

Was there any media coverage apart from the Advocate and Examiner? A lot of people had expected a lot more mainstream media coverage than this.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby taswegian » Mon 09 Dec, 2019 12:01 pm

Reading the Advocate and their quote of Elise Archer
Tasmanian Attorney-General Elise Archer defended the government's approvals process.

"It's now ended up in the Federal Court and the determination there shows that the process works, that people throughout the planning process can have their say," she said.

"Our government is not against people peacefully protesting as long as it doesn't impact - in that situation - on the environment."


If that quote is true then she is a contradiction of her own words.
The protest was about the impact on the environment. And yet her government is accepting an impact on the environment which protesters rightfully are protesting about.

A big thanks to all who attended the rally etc.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby bogholesbuckethats » Mon 09 Dec, 2019 12:06 pm

Son of a Beach wrote:Was there any media coverage apart from the Advocate and Examiner? A lot of people had expected a lot more mainstream media coverage than this.


I believe the ABC are putting together a larger story but I didn't see any other tv stations up there. The mercury article from Saturday was also published in the Herald Sun.
That looks like a pad.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby myrtlegirl » Mon 09 Dec, 2019 1:05 pm

It made ABC news on Sat eve. If you watch from 4min 30sec in, you'll see it.

Coverage of these sorts of things has been pretty poor lately. When 20 people got arrested in Hobart very recently during an XR protest, did anyone hear anything? Nup. It might be like the ban on showing streakers at the cricket in the 80's - don't give them the publicity.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby stepbystep » Mon 09 Dec, 2019 1:46 pm

One issue re media coverage is media outlets have no staff to send to remote events, however...

There was an Advocate article, an Examiner article, Mercury on Saturday, Sunday Tasmanian(on Sunday), ABC news Saturday.

Jess Davis an ABC journo was there and is putting together a larger tv and online piece that puts a national slant on things.
The Guardian are working on a piece and I'm told an op-ed is being written for the Merc.

We have quite a few angles to pursue and I'm confident we can knock this stupid proposal on the head as we roll them out, the government is on the run. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, write to Enviro Minister Susan Ley.
The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders ~ Edward Abbey
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby andrewp » Mon 09 Dec, 2019 2:29 pm

myrtlegirl wrote:It made ABC news on Sat eve. If you watch from 4min 30sec in, you'll see it.

Unfortunately it didn't make it to the Vic ABC news.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Lophophaps » Mon 09 Dec, 2019 3:08 pm

The Advocate has reported Tasmanian Attorney-General Elise Archer as saying:
"It's now ended up in the Federal Court and the determination there shows that the process works, that people throughout the planning process can have their say."
People can have their say, but the federal and Tasmanian governments take no notice. Government decisions are based more on ideology than on the merits of a matter. With 1300 submissions against the proposal, does that not mean anything? What about the federal court that effectively found against the federal minister Ley? What about the huge cost for all involved just to get a fair decision?

There are too many Tasmanian and federal government irregularities in this matter, and the Tasmanian government says the process works. If the spinning could be used it would put The Hydro out of business.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Son of a Beach » Mon 09 Dec, 2019 3:13 pm

Agreed. Although I suppose from the government's perspective the process does actually work. Ie, it allows development and blocks opposition to development. Which is what the process was designed to do. So it works just fine.

I also just found the ABC News TAS from Saturday 7th and watched that report on the Halls Island protest (couldn't find it anywhere on the ABC News website apart from iView!).

Apparently a government spokesperson there told them that people who think the EOI process is secretive are ill-informed and it isn't true.

It's like our government are saying "black is white" and expecting that people will just believe it. I suspect that they are counting on the majority of people who don't know otherwise, and therefore might just believe them.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Nuts » Tue 10 Dec, 2019 9:16 am

Great to see these good folks going to that effort, and with not a political banner in sight proponents still have no group worthy of easy blame.

Confounding that the recent win is a right to be heard, and again by ministers that just don't care. How dare they put people through the angst and effort once again!
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby tastrax » Tue 10 Dec, 2019 4:39 pm

Cheers - Phil

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

Postby Lophophaps » Tue 10 Dec, 2019 6:17 pm

The audit website advises
"We anticipate accepting contributions to this audit until Sunday 15 December 2019."
Methinks my submission will have to be quick and dirty.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby lefroy » Tue 10 Dec, 2019 6:59 pm

The fact that the WHA boundary was adjusted to suit a private development was a big one in my submission. Need to point out the lack of respect shown for the WHAs and also the lack of public consultation in transferring public land to developers
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby stepbystep » Tue 10 Dec, 2019 7:43 pm

By the way, it's ours again. Reclaimed :) thanks to any forum members who took part.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Son of a Beach » Wed 11 Dec, 2019 7:38 am

Thanks, Dan, for what you guys have been doing. Keep making the noise!
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Paul » Wed 11 Dec, 2019 11:16 am

If writing to Sussan Ley, is there a cut off date by which letters have to be delivered to her address by ?

Thanks for any advice.

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

Postby stepbystep » Wed 11 Dec, 2019 5:36 pm

Paul wrote:If writing to Sussan Ley, is there a cut off date by which letters have to be delivered to her address by ?

Thanks for any advice.

Paul.


Hi Paul, my understanding is she can make this decision any time or defer it indefinitely. Write soon please. Please, if you can make it a concise hand written letter that contain a question. Questions must be answered, if you don't ask a question it will be considered a statement and therefore go unanswered or give a template response.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby stepbystep » Wed 11 Dec, 2019 5:53 pm

This is the DA notice. Pinned to a tree on an island, in a lake, inside our World Heritage Area.

Welcome to your "Liberal" future.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby taswegian » Wed 11 Dec, 2019 6:00 pm

Is there a definition of what the application is seeking? Standing Camp?
I'm interested to know.
Might help shape a response
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Warin » Wed 11 Dec, 2019 6:50 pm

stepbystep wrote:This is the DA notice. Pinned to a tree on an island, in a lake, inside our World Heritage Area.

Welcome to your "Liberal" future.


? Any better than in the bottom of a filing cabinet labeled 'do not open' in a store room in the basement?

Probably a legal requirement to have it there... and to notify the 'neighbours'.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Lophophaps » Wed 11 Dec, 2019 8:03 pm

In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Vogsphere are responsible for the destruction of the Earth to facilitate an intergalactic highway construction project for a hyperspace express route. There was a notice of this ...

"But the plans were on display …”
“On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
“That’s the display department.”
“With a flashlight.”
“Ah, well, the lights had probably gone.”
“So had the stairs.”
“But look, you found the notice, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” said Arthur, “yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.”

The Halls Island notification is based on science fiction humour!

There is a denial of natural justice. MY understanding is that the government says that landings are not permitted. Further, the notice is on an island, so to read the notice one must get a boat or swim. Notices of the kind depicted above are meant to be public notices, but if the public cannot read it, then the notice may be invalid. This is like something out of 1984 or Kafka. Maybe notify the media, making the proponents and the government look silly.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby taswegian » Wed 11 Dec, 2019 8:40 pm

It's all technically, legally above board.
The application notice MUST be placed in a conspicuous place at the property address. Hence on the island.

Also adjoining owners must be notified! In this case who decides that is moot point :D
An application on land of other ownership must have an acknowledged letter from the legal owner along with a copy of the title and a schedule of easements.
No title exists so there must be some exemption there, but I wonder who the responsible owner was that signed a letter of agreement for the proponent to enable the application to be assessed.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby tastrax » Wed 11 Dec, 2019 10:07 pm

Cheers - Phil

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

Postby Lophophaps » Thu 12 Dec, 2019 5:10 am

Taswegian, thanks. Some time ago, legislation was very detailed, the reason being that it was quite clear what was and was not permitted. While this generally worked, those seeking to evade the law found ways around the legislation. These days, legislation has a section advising of the intention, what is hoped to be achieved. This is expanded in the rest of the legislation. One of the best examples is the Income Tax Assessment Act. Part IVA relates to anti-avoidance provisions, and describes in general terms what is allowed. So while the ITAA says things like thou shalt not have bottom of the harbour or forestry schemes to avoid tax, anything untoward not cited in the ITAA is caught by Part IVA.

The provisions about the above sort of notice work well in areas with people frequently passing by. A block of flats will be erected, adding a new story, demolishing two rooms at the back and rebuilding. The provisions work less well in remote regions. If there is something like Part IVA, then it may be that the objective of informing interested people has not met compliance.

I've had rental properties for ages and received council notices about nearby developments. Similarly, there may be a responsibility to send the Halls Island notice in the picture to interested parties such as TWS, EDO, and others. This is perhaps something that EDO could look at.

Tastrax, the two documents are helpful and the Standing camp policy is interesting.

Page 6 says:
2.3.2 Commercial bush camp
"In a standing camp, visitors can feel the wind as it flaps the sides of the tents and hear the surf as they lie down at night ... Importantly, standing camps are set in more remote areas within reserves where tent based camping is the normal type of accommodation for the public. Therefore, the camps as temporary structures are less likely to seem out of place to other visitors."

Page 9:
Step 2 – Concept Approval
"The PWS checks the proposal for a standing camp to ensure it is in accord with legislation, management plans, this and other PWS policies.

"PWS also checks the proposal for its initial environmental, social and economic impacts at this step. If the proposed standing camp has very significant impacts in one or more of these areas the proposal would not usually proceed beyond this point ...

"Generally, preferred conditions for standing camps are those located on robust vegetation and soils and where the site is easily accessible, but hidden from the view of the general public."

Page 14:
4.2 Physical
"The overriding principles in construction design, materials and techniques are to be tent-style accommodation, to minimise environmental damage, maximise the temporary appearance of the development and to keep structures portable."

Page 19:
4.13 Rehabilitation Bond
"In order to promote responsible management of the site, the operator of the camp may be required to pay a rehabilitation bond held in trust or to provide a bank guarantee for a set time period."

Page 21:
5. Categories of Standing Camp
"All camp sites must be constructed so they are temporary in nature and appearance and must be completely and easily demountable with no lasting damage or environmental effect to the ground on which they were erected."

While the policy may have changed, on balance of probability this will not be much. If so and the above extracts apply, there seems top be scope for asking if the above has been satisfied.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby Nuts » Thu 12 Dec, 2019 9:39 am

There's a sketch of the design somewhere earlier in the topic? The site at Skullbone Plains is the reference: https://riverfly.com.au/fly-fishing-tas ... -day-huts/

They will be permanently situated so exit any recovery strategy and accompanying harmonious words.
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Re: Luxury camp inside Walls of Jerusalem WHA with heli acce

Postby taswegian » Thu 12 Dec, 2019 12:45 pm

A permit is only valid for the application presented and subsequently approved.
If the as built structure is different to or doesn't conform to the standards expected by the permit there's a problem.
If by definition they've stated a particular structure any deviation is subject to an amended permit or a cessation of use.
This is where it gets murky as a request to amend a permit could slip under the radar.
It's all so rotten a process nothing would surprise me.
Standard fare for applications is get the permit then amend it to get what they really wanted in first place.
This isn't unique in that area.

But from little I've read here lately this hardly sounds like a truly standing Camp.
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taswegian
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