Media Releases - 18 March 2020

Despite Malbena being unpopular, new ‘Major Project’ legislation could still fast-track it

  • Nothing in ‘Major Project’ legislation prevents it fast-tracking niche projects like luxury private tourism proposed at Lake Malbena
  • ‘Developers’ dream’ legislation: Public oversight would be further reduced & national parks more easily privatised 
  • Planning minister would have power to fast-track unpopular proposals 
The untouched wilderness of Lake Malbena. Image: Rob Blakers.

The Wilderness Society today condemned the Tasmanian Liberal Party’s plan to strip away Tasmania’s already questionable planning safeguards, to further reduce the public’s role in planning and fast-track development proposals in national parks.  

“Peter Gutwein’s plan to strip planning safeguards is a developer’s dream, a resident’s nightmare and with regards to the public’s role in planning it says ‘get stuffed’,” said Tom Allen for the Wilderness Society Tasmania. 

“The draft Land Use Planning and Approvals Amendment (Major Projects) Bill 2020 is misleading because it could apply to projects like the Lake Malbena niche luxury tourism proposal, pull them out of the planning system and force them on local communities, despite a complete lack of social licence. 

“Despite the Lake Malbena proposal being rejected by the local council, the community and facing multiple legal challenges, the ‘major projects’ legislation could be used to get the project up regardless.

“There are 30 or so national park privatisation proposals in the pipeline for the World Heritage Area. If this legislation gets up, these could be fast-tracked and the public ignored. Mr Gutwein may as well get in his bulldozer and pave paradise himself.

“There isn’t a local community anywhere on the island that wants less of a say in planning decisions, but this is what the proposed legislation would do. 

“The Tasmanian way of life hinges on the liberty to roam in wild places,  yet it is again under attack from the Tasmanian Liberal Party. To protect the Tasmanian way of life, Parliament should reject this legislation,” said Mr Allen.

For further comment: Tom Allen, 0434 614 323