A poll has shown that the majority of the public oppose the use of Australian wilderness areas for accommodation and helicopter access, with environmental groups continuing to attack the Tasmanian government over its expressions of interest process.
The Roy Morgan web poll - commissioned by the Tasmanian National Parks Association and Ross Knowles Foundation - approached people by email earlier this month and received 1207 responses.
One question asked whether "luxury lodges and helicopter-based tourism should be kept outside Australia's wilderness areas", following a statement mentioning that such proposals were active.
Sixty-three per cent either strongly or somewhat agreed, while 21 per cent disagreed. Coalition voters were split on the topic, while the majority of Labor and Greens voters agreed.
When asked if Australia's remaining wilderness areas should be protected, 90 per cent agreed, including a strong majority of coalition voters.
Report co-author Martin Hawes, who has written numerous reports critical of the state government's approach to wilderness tourism development, said the government was at odds with the public.
"It highlights the disconnect between the government's actions and the public. The next obvious conclusion is that if the government is listening to anyone on this, it's listening to private businesses," he said.
"One of the primary faults, right from the outset, is that this is not a public process and has been behind closed doors."
Environmental groups have repeatedly criticised the Tasmanian Government's EOI process since its inception in 2014, claiming it lacked transparency.
On the Coordinator-General's website, 29 proposals were listed at various stages including those already operating such as Narawntapu Adventures and Freycinet Eco Retreat, and those with leases already signed like the Halls Island standing camp proposal at Lake Malbena.
The Halls Island proposal has been subject to the most public debate, and was the basis of the helicopter access question in the poll, albeit not explicitly mentioned.
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An Auditor-General report into the EOI process, published in September last year, found it was "fundamentally sound" and adhered to eco-tourism guidance when compared with other states.
There were 37 proposals in round 1 and 25 in round 2, although only 11 had progressed to commercial operation and a further 18 had been recommended to progress, but were still in the negotiating stage.
Nineteen had not been recommended or withdrawn by the proponents.
The Auditor-General report found there was adequate information available to the public about the proposals.
"Allegations of undue secrecy of the EOI process are not supported by our evidence and we found the publication of information on recommended proposals had been sufficiently timely and appropriately handled," the report read.
Among its recommendations was to "increase the rigour of the public consultation" as part of the Reserve Activity Assessment process to "improve the level of transparency and objectivity".
The government was contacted for comment.