Question without notice - Pumphouse Bay & Jonah Bay Land Management

Tuesday 8 March 2022


Ms ARMITAGE question to DEPUTY LEADER of the GOVERNMENT in the LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL, Ms PALMER


[2.40 p.m.]

Mr President, regarding the land formerly managed by the Bothwell Tourism Association at Pumphouse Bay and Jonah Bay;


(1) Can the Leader please confirm this land is now managed by Hydro Tasmania?


(2) Is this land being redeveloped? Can the Leader please give specific details on the nature of these redevelopments, how long they will take to complete, and when the area will reopen?


(3) My understanding is when this land was managed by the Bothwell Tourism Association, it was leased per each annual fishing season for fishers to erect temporary shacks and then take them away again at the end of the season. Can the Leader please confirm if this is planned to continue under Hydro Tasmania's management


(4) Beyond the next fishing season, can the Leader please indicate whether those to whom the shacks have previously been leased will be offered a lease renewal for their same spots and with the same contractual terms?


(5) If the answer to (4) is no, can the Leader please advise if the long-term leasing of land will be available in the future?


ANSWER


I thank the member for Launceston for her question.


(1) The lease agreement between Hydro and the Bothwell Tourism Association ended on 13 November 2021 and management of the sites now sits with Hydro Tasmania's internal operations.


(2) Hydro Tasmania has confirmed that these two camp sites will remain as public camp sites into the future. Recent public safety and structural audits undertaken by Hydro Tasmania have identified necessary requirements to improve the amenity and facilities at the sites, Hydro Tasmania is currently developing a works plan for both sites which will address these actions. The minister has been advised that in order to undertake these works, which are critical to bring the sites up to a minimum standard, both sites will be temporarily closed for one season, between May 2022 and August 2023. Hydro has committed to ongoing engagement with the current camp site users and has been in regular communications about the changes.


(3) Bothwell Tourism Association entered seasonal agreements with campers and also provided short-term and overnight camp sites. Some campers did erect more substantial annexes to their caravans, but it was always a requirement under the terms of the lease between Hydro and the Bothwell Tourism Association and a condition of the agreement between the Bothwell Tourism Association and the individuals that these sites were to be packed down at the end of the season. Hydro Tasmania is still reviewing the longer term management principles for the sites. Hydro Tasmania wants to ensure the sites are compliant with relevant requirements so they are safe to enjoy.


(4),(5) The sites are public camp sites and the advice is there are no permanent shacks erected within their boundary. Hydro Tasmania is currently considering how to best ensure there are fair access arrangements in place, including through the use of seasonal passes or other shorter term arrangements. The minister has been advised camp sites have never been offered on a permanent basis to individuals, although some individuals have had a long association with some of the sites. Hydro Tasmania is committed to ensuring there continues to be opportunities for people to experience staying at this prime Tasmanian fishing and camping location and consultation with current campsite users will continue through this process.


Ms Armitage - If I could seek a little more clarification, the word used by the Deputy Leader was 'permanent'. In my question, I have never used the word permanent and as said it was leased each annual fishing season. I have had discussion with quite a few of these people that have been erecting them and taking them away and the question really is - as you have said, there have been negotiations, but these people have not had any negotiation, they have had no answers and they are questioning what is going to happen - is it likely that they will be able to get an annual lease as they have had in the past? They have had annual leases each year - as has been mentioned, they erect and then they take them away, so they are not permanent, but they have had them in the same spot. Many people have been up there and they have had an annual lease. The concern is whether that will continue, an annual lease, not an overnight public area.


Ms PALMER - Mr President, I will take that on notice and seek some advice.

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