Media Releases - 29 April 2021

Where Lyons & Derwent candidates—parties and one independent—stand on Lake Malbena and parks privatisation

Halls Island, Lake Malbena, in Walls of Jerusalem National Park.

The Wilderness Society Tasmania has released a Lake Malbena ‘candidate checker’ that shows where the parties and independent candidates stand on arguably the biggest environmental issue of the 2021 State Election: Lake Malbena and parks privatisation. 

The checker is focused on the two electorates that contain Lake Malbena itself, inside Walls of Jerusalem National Park. Derwent is an electorate (technically called a division) for the Legislative Council, which is being contested by three candidates from the Liberal, Labor and Animal Justice parties. 

The second is the House of Assembly electorate of Lyons, Tasmania’s largest. It is being contested by Labor, Liberal, Greens, Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, and Animal Justice parties, as well as one independent. 

Of the three Derwent candidates, only one, the Animal Justice Party’s candidate Ivan Davis, opposes the Lake Malbena development and parks privatisation. 

In Lyons, the Labor and Liberal candidates support the Lake Malbena development and parks privatisation but candidates from the Animal Justice, Greens and Shooters, Fishers and Farmers parties, plus independent candidate George Lane, oppose the Lake Malbena development and parks privatisation. 

Labor failed to respond to our survey despite multiple requests but was previously reported as supporting the tourism expressions of interest process in an ABC report by Emily Baker on 13 April. They have had many opportunities to provide further clarity on their position but haven’t done so. 

“This candidate checker cuts through the spin and shows the reality of which parties support parks privatisation and which parties support keeping World Heritage wilderness and national parks public, respected and intact,” said Tom Allen for the Wilderness Society Tasmania. 

“We encourage people to consider the protection of the island’s World Heritage wilderness and wild places, and take this survey information into account when they vote this Saturday,” said Mr Allen.

Methodology: All parties and independents contesting the 2021 Tasmania state election for the electorates of Lyons and Derwent were corresponded with regarding one of the Wilderness Society’s issues of concern this state election, namely the Lake Malbena proposal and the privatisation of national parks. Candidates were contacted by phone and email between 26–28 April and invited to respond to the question: “Do you support the Lake Malbena proposal and privatising national parks?” Candidates’ permission was sought for their names to be used in this ‘candidate checker’, and those named gave their permission in writing.

Authorised by Tom Allen, 130 Davey St, Hobart