The historic island at the centre of a contentious wilderness tourism project is set to have its heritage formally assessed at state level, after a nomination for heritage listing was made this week.
Halls Island, located within Lake Malbena in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, is the proposed site of a tourism project knocked back by the Central Highlands council during a meeting last week.
With 1344 submissions received against the proposal - and only two in favour - councillors voiced their concern about the difficult position they had been placed in and a lack of transparency from both the state and federal governments.
The proponents of the project, Daniel and Simone Hackett, have said they will appeal the council's decision as it had not been assessed against the planning scheme.
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Historian Dr David Young, who submitted the Tasmanian Heritage Register nomination, told The Examiner it was about acknowledging the history of the island and the hut - built by Reg Hall in the 1950s and used by anglers and bushwalkers since.
"It's got indisputable heritage values," Dr Young said. "Getting it on the register would ensure these are protected."
Dr Young added a listing would ensure any impact the project may have on the site could be assessed objectively by the Tasmanian Heritage Council.
"I think it should at least go through the [nomination] process," Dr Young said.
Contacted about the nomination, Mr Hackett said he had "no knowledge of the application".
On the project's website, "protecting and showcasing" the story of Halls Island is noted as a "cornerstone" of the project.
A challenge of the decision made by a federal Environment Minister's delegate to not assess the proposal under commonwealth environmental laws, lodged by The Wilderness Society, will go before the Federal Court later this month.
The Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment had not provided a response in time for publication.
More on the Halls Island tourism proposal
Plans submitted to the Central Highlands Council in January show three accommodation huts and a fourth communal hut for tour guides, covering a total of 64 square metres.
A helicopter will charter visitors to a landing area about 300 metres from the island where they will be required to walk the rest of the way before boarding a boat.
The proposal came as part of the state government's expression of interest scheme for national parks, reserves, and Crown Lands.
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