Santas sack of cash wings 2019

Santas sack of cash wings 2019

Malbena development gets tick of approval

Lake Malbena

Those against a controversial tourism development at Lake Malbena in Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area are considering their options, after the project was given the green light.

Central Highlands Council rejected the helicopter-accessed camp at Halls Island in February, but that decision has now been overturned by the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal following months of hearings and evidence.

The Wilderness Society's Campaign Manager Tom Allen is weighing up whether to contest the ruling.

"It's a huge decision to make. The legal fees, as we understand it, could be as much as $100,000 and more than just the finanical undertaking, it's a big commitment in terms of resources and time. But it's something we're actively considering at this time," he said.

A statement was released by developer Wild Drake, comprised of Daniel Hackett and his wife Simone, in the aftermath of the verdict late yesterday.

"Simone and I welcome the successful appeal decision from the RMPAT, again confirming that the Lake Malbena project is compliant with local planning scheme provisions.

We are proud of what we have achieved, in designing a small-scale, sensitive proposal that has passed the highest levels of scientific scrutiny ever applied to an Australian tourism project."

Under the proposal, 4 luxury demountable huts would be constructed on Halls Island, inside the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, to be accessed by 240 helicopter flights per year. 

But Wild Drake maintains there will be no commerical operations for 240 days per year, and there will be no helicopter use for 305+ days per year.

"Our guests will leave as conservation minded users, advocates for Tasmania's wild place, and signifciant contributors to local jobs and the economy," Mr Hackett said. 

The Tasmanian Government, as well as the Tourism Industry Council have welcomed yesterday's verdict, with the Malbena project seen as a test case for around 50 other proposals slated for the state's Wilderness World Heritage Area.

But The Wilderness Society is pointing out there's still a seperate case on the project in front of the Federal Court.

"Of course we support nature and conservation tourism, we just say people should buy their own land not take away public land, excluding many of those who have been visiting these beautiful areas for generations and privatising it for profit," he said.