Media Release: 171 Hectare Ralphs Bay Conservation Area Comes into Effect Today

Cassy O’Connor MP
Greens Environment spokesperson

The Tasmanian Greens today welcomed the creation of the new, expanded Ralphs Bay Conservation Area, which under the provisions of the Ralphs Bay Conservation Area (Clarification) Act 2006 comes into effect today.

Greens Environment spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said after six and a half long years campaigning to save Ralphs Bay from becoming the site of Tasmania’s first Gold-Coast style canal housing estate, the Save Ralphs Bay group can celebrate not only the death of the proposal, but the birth of a Conservation Area that encompasses the entire sandflats and saltmarsh community from the north to the south of the bay at Lauderdale.

“When it was introduced by then Minister David Llewellyn shortly after the 2006 State Election, the Ralphs Bay Conservation Area (Clarification) Bill 2006 sought to shrink the Conservation Area to a tenth of its size, conveniently removing the entire footprint of the proposed development from the protected zone,” Ms O’Connor said.

“This legislative sleight-of-hand was the result of prompting by Walker Corporation’s lawyers who queried the boundaries of the Conservation Area based on a misinterpretation of standard surveying practice in relation to a moving, tidal (or ambulatory) boundary.  And, the government of the day happily fell for it!”

“While only the Greens voted against the Clarification Bill in the lower house, thanks to the furious lobbying of SRB Inc working with the Environmental Defenders Office, members of the upper house – and particularly the Member for Rumney Lin Thorp and former Pembroke MLC Alison Ritchie, the Bill was amended to bring into effect a new, expanded Conservation Area on the day after the RPDC (now Tasmanian Planning Commission) delivered its recommendation to government.” [1]

“The new Ralphs Bay Conservation Area is an ecological treasure on Hobart’s doorstep– an internationally significant migratory and shorebird habitat, with a rare and flourishing saltmarsh community – qualities that have been recognised by the Tasmanian Planning Commission as meeting the criteria for Ramsar listing as a wetland of international significance.” [2]

“Again, I thank the Premier for the part he has played in delivering a good conservation outcome for Ralphs Bay and Tasmania’s coastline,” Ms O’Connor said.


Attached: Map of expanded Ralphs Bay Conservation Area, Schedule 2 of the Ralphs Bay Conservation Area (Clarification) Act 2006.

References:

[1] Ralphs Bay Conservation Area (Clarification) Act 2006, S.2a

[2] TPC Final Report, Appendix 7, p. 206

Wednesday, 23 June 2010