Two futures for Rosny Hill

by Peter McGlone

In the August 2015 Tasmanian Conservationist issue no.335 I wrote about a very worrying proposal for a large tourism development in the Rosny Hill Nature Recreation Area, on Hobart’s eastern shore. This very important, if small, reserve of 20 hectares includes numerous threatened flora and significant grasslands and forest communities. The proposed development would have a footprint of about 30% of the reserves area, including 120 accommodation suites, a function centre catering for 300 people and a 150-seat restaurant. The development proposal has not yet been submitted to the Clarence City Council but the local community has not been idly waiting for it.

Early in the new year I approached a few local Montagu Bay residents who were concerned about the development, to suggest that they seek rezoning of the reserve from Recreation Zone to Environmental Management Zone to better reflect the level of security and management of natural values that they expected. Some of these people have been actively involved with managing Rosny Hill for 20 years and spoke very passionately against the development at the public meeting held last May by the proponent.

With some assistance from the Environmental Defenders Office and myself, the group composed a letter, which constituted a rezoning application, and got 231 local residents to sign in support of it. The application has gone to council but the process cannot commence until the council gets the consent of the state government as the ultimate owner of the land. The local residents are now lobbying the state government to give consent for the rezoning to be considered.