In a victory for Tasmania’s pristine Lake Malbena, the state’s Supreme Court has today overturned a decision to grant a permit for a controversial helicopter-accessed tourism project in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Today’s Full Court of the Tasmanian Supreme Court has ordered that the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal reconsider its decision in December 2019 to issue a planning permit for the Wild Drake Pty Ltd luxury tourism proposal. The Court ordered the Respondents to pay the Appellants costs of the appeal.

The matter will now return to the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal, to remake its decision about whether a planning permit should be issued for the development.

Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) represented The Wilderness Society (Tasmania), the Tasmanian National Parks Association, and two individuals in the Supreme Court challenge.

“This is a great outcome for members of the community who have been fighting for years to protect Lake Malbena and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area from this inappropriate development,” said EDO Managing Lawyer Claire Bookless.

“The Supreme Court has found the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal’s 2019 erred in granting the permit because it didn’t assess whether the project was in accordance with the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan.”

“The matter will now be sent back to the Tribunal, to determine whether a planning permit should be issued for this development.”

“The Full Court has ordered that the matter be remitted to the Tribunal for reconsideration.

“We are considering the implications of the decision and discussing next steps with our clients.”

“The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is an absolute treasure, an internationally-recognised icon with huge importance to Tasmanian Aboriginal community, conservationists, bushwalkers and anglers.

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