Luxury Lodge Development - South Coast Track

Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion.
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Tasmania specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Luxury Lodge Development - South Coast Track

Postby stepbystep » Thu 07 Apr, 2022 11:05 am

Hi all,

Hi BWA members,

The South Coast Track now in the sights of developers.

The initial proposal consists of six "five star" accommodation nodes along the track. The company proposing this is an ASX listed mega tourism company called Experience Co, based in Queensland and run by the CEO and Chair of Tourism Australia. The big boys are in town! They bought the company Maria Island Walks which they have now incorporated into their 'Wild Bush Luxury' brand - just what wilderness needs eh?

As such we need to keep the fight up - we are starting this by attempting to have the highly flawed processes that facilitate this abandoned and the 'Unlock the Parks' policy abandoned. I help run the group Fishers & Walkers Tasmania (FAWTAS), you can find us on social media and we work alongside other groups to mount the most effective campaign. This will be a long campaign and one we will need its of support from the bushwalking community.

I'll update this thread as regularly as I can.

If you are a Tasmanian resident can you please sign this petition and share with as many people you can that are concerned about development in the Tasmanian National Parks.

Thank you.
Dan Broun

https://haepetitions.parliament.tas.gov ... %20Details
The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders ~ Edward Abbey
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Re: Luxury Lodge Development - South Coast Track

Postby safari » Thu 07 Apr, 2022 11:50 am

Read and signed, thanks for taking action and getting the word out about yet another money driven, invasive incursion on our once wild spaces Dan.
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Re: Luxury Lodge Development - South Coast Track

Postby Mechanic-AL » Thu 07 Apr, 2022 12:25 pm

Thanks for letting people know about this Dan.

I wonder if any of the white shoes behind this were part of an illegal helicopter joyride around the SW Cape back in 2020 ?
"What went ye out into the wilderness to see?
A reed shaken in the wind"?
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Re: Luxury Lodge Development - South Coast Track

Postby EGM » Thu 07 Apr, 2022 12:49 pm

Thank you.

Please keep us updated, I'm ex Tasmanian so can't sign but I'll share it around and please let us know if there's anything us mainlanders can do.
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Re: Luxury Lodge Development - South Coast Track

Postby Tazz81 » Thu 07 Apr, 2022 5:43 pm

3 Helicopters flew from Hobart to Louisa Bay and back today….
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Re: Luxury Lodge Development - South Coast Track

Postby Tassiegirl1 » Fri 08 Apr, 2022 7:45 am

Thankyou for sharing this. Another one of Tasmania's tracks to be ruined. I have signed the petition!
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Re: Luxury Lodge Development - South Coast Track

Postby Nuts » Fri 08 Apr, 2022 8:56 am

Sigh, signed.
Not that I want to see a better process for wilderness development applications.
Lets hope there's some far-sighted political savvy behind this mediocre game.
Respect Wilderness!
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Re: Luxury Lodge Development - South Coast Track

Postby Jon MS » Fri 08 Apr, 2022 9:41 am

A few comments about the proposed South Coast track commercial hut proposal.

Who is going to pay to bring the track up to the required standard?
In order to be viable the track needs to be brought up to the standard of the Overland track (but not to the standard of the 3 Capes track). Who is going to pay? Parks does not have this sort of money.

After having walked the track something like 45 times over the past 38 years, along with working in my young days as a track worker and then in Parks for over 25 years I have made an estimate of the costs. To fix the current route: about $40.4 M. However, this could be reduced to about $30.5M with some re-routes (the current route was put in by a track worker whose nickname was "Hilltop" and it follows a very sub-optimal route in many places).

Several of the re-routes are long and will require a major financial commitment to complete (eg about $3.5M on the Ironbounds east which would need to be completed in one go).

Who is going to build and pay for the at least 5 bridges that will be required: Faraway Ck, Louisa Ck, major bridge on Louisa R, creek west of Tura Beach and major re-route and bridge on South Cape Rivulet?

Client fitness and expectations
How are they going to screen clients to ensure they have the required fitness? Regardless of the state of the track, it passes through rough country with big hills. Much bigger hills and rougher country than the Overland track. For fit clients, it will be a blast, but a very large proportion of the clientele will have a lower level of experience and fitness (which is a major reason for their signing up to a commercial walk).

Cultural heritage.
The track goes close to some very important Aboriginal sites. At least one of the huts (Deadmans) is very close to a major cultural site and another hut (Louisa R) is close to where the Aboriginal community wants to do cultural burning.

Weather restrictions with flying into Melaleuca
How are they going to manage flying in when Melaleuca airstrip is below minimum flight standards at least 15% of the time?

Use helicopters which will blow their budget?

To be viable, the walk will require near daily departures for at least 3 months of the year and the Melaleuca weather will cause cancellations at less than 12 hours notice. How are they going to manage people who have paid big $$, flown to Tasmania from interstate or overseas only to be told that today's departure is cancelled.

Either that or the huts will have to be big enough to handle 2 or 3 groups at the one time (ie up to about 50 people). This will also mean groups of up to 50 people on the track!!!

Social license
Where is their social license for the walk?

In the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Tourism Master Plan, getting a social license from Tasmanian people was a requirement. I can see no evidence for this social license.

Will business operators want to be involved or supportive of the proposal. In the 1980s when the commercial huts on the Overland track were proposed a major supplier of outdoor gear pulled their Hobart franchise from its owner because of his support for the Overland track huts. The same thing could easily happen again.

Removal or maintenance of infrastructure when (not if) the business fails
The proposal requires the construction of 6 huts (probable locations: Black Cliff in Cox Bight, western side of Louisa River, Purrar Pt in Deadmans Bay, Milford Creek at Prion Beach, middle of Granite Beach and on the point east of South Cape Rivulet).

Parks does not have the funds to maintain these huts and they will quickly fall into disrepair without maintenance. This means they will need to be removed and the sites rehabilitated, which will cost a lot of money.

Other adgendas
Finally, because this proposal is so "ill advised", is it just a "red herring"? Are they putting this up, knowing it is non-viable and will be willing to "compromise" so they can get easy approval for some other development? Private track and hut at SE Cape???
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Re: Luxury Lodge Development - South Coast Track

Postby Nuts » Tue 12 Apr, 2022 9:32 am

Good points, and a lot of local experience to draw from.

'Social License' is most important, in essence social license should be the overarching requirement. But what is social licence in this context? Nobody, aside from a few individuals with personal interest, particularly wants to see private huts in public wilderness settings? So what substantial group ever gives such entities a 'license'?

If purely protected wilderness (for it's own sake, as a basis) isn't enough, which it appears not, we take the opportunity to argue against the logistics. Once this happens, it's almost as much a checklist for the developer, as many points of concern can be overcome. Examples/ taken from the same Overland Track, that if distances are too great, add more huts. If weights are too great, add the option of a personal porter. If numbers are not viable, increase the numbers (for the private huts of course, not the public). If the public facilities are comparatively good, take a place as a 'key stakeholder' to limit or affect progress.

And so on.. just throw money, and compromise decision making.. What appears to be a 'win' may just as likely be the proponents biding time, or the commercial conditions not at their best.. Never 'won', just simmering..
I've never thought anything other than championing pure wilderness as a good long term strategy. Or the strategy that needs to be made good enough. You just don't section off exclusive areas for private profit in public parks and wilderness areas! That's what they are protected from!
Respect Wilderness!
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Re: Luxury Lodge Development - South Coast Track

Postby CheekyQuoll » Sun 22 May, 2022 9:21 pm

Thank you for sharing. Read and signed.
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Re: Luxury Lodge Development - South Coast Track

Postby headwerkn » Mon 23 May, 2022 9:23 am

Thanks Dan, signed and shared.

While I think there is a definite need for more coastal multiday walking tracks around the state, allowing private companies to develop high-end "luxury" experiences on existing, historic, public tracks in the WHA is the exact opposite way to go about it. Walking experiences need to be both sustainable and equitable for all.
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Re: Luxury Lodge Development - South Coast Track

Postby potato » Mon 23 May, 2022 1:11 pm

Thanks - signed and shared.
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Re: Luxury Lodge Development - South Coast Track

Postby weetbix456 » Sat 11 Jun, 2022 12:44 pm

A little bump for this post/petition, with a link to TNPA's media release explaining some of the details regarding the governments recent changes to the EOI process. You have until July 4th, 2022 to sign the petition. Thanks to all who have signed thus far!!

https://tnpa.org.au/changes-to-eoi-process-for-tourism-opportunities-in-parks/

https://haepetitions.parliament.tas.gov.au/haepet/Home/PetitionDetails/100?title=Petition%20Details
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Re: Luxury Lodge Development - South Coast Track

Postby weetbix456 » Fri 12 Aug, 2022 11:12 am

Thanks to all who signed the above petition. If anyone is interested - the official handover to parliament is next week (WEDNESDAY, 17 AUGUST 2022 9am) on Parliament Lawns, Hobart. Would be great to get a number of people there for a visual display of support :)

Event link attached below..

https://www.facebook.com/events/769031150909848?ref=newsfeed
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