Media release: Lake Malbena modelling shows projected $577 return to conservation, per customer

Innovative and sustainable eco-tourism relies on giving back to the natural environment through conservation activities and engagement. These returns can be in the simple form of cash, or in other more complex activities such as citizen science, or direct participation in conservation activities.

Recognising the role that the Lake Malbena project is playing in the design and delivery of the next generation of Tasmanian eco-tourism, we have taken the steps to value our direct and in-kind economic returns to conservation. This modelling shows a return of $577 per customer to conservation, something we are extremely proud of.


The Halls Island Lease and Licence requires a lease review at yr 5 (2023), with the outcome to reflect market rates (see lease and licence details here It is publicly available information that market-rates for established businesses on reserve land is 5% of gross income; this would equate to a significant return of $250 per customer paid to the Parks and Wildlife Service as lease income via the tourism operation. In addition, each customer is required to purchase a current Parks Pass, valued at $40. This equates to a total return of $290 per customer, per trip, paid to Parks and Wildlife Service Tasmania by way of the existing lease. This would represent new income to manage our valuable conservation land.

A significant element of the Malbena project has been the purposeful incorporation of citizen science and conservation activities within the planned tourism experience. While final details of the conservation activities are being finalised, the outcome will equate to an average of six hours citizen science and conservation activities per customer, per trip. This is an ambitious and achievable goal. The conservation outcomes of these activities are measurable, resulting in a cost-benefit cash value.

The methodology used to calculate the cost-benefit value of these conservation activities is based on the State of Volunteering Report: Tasmania 2014, and the subsequent cost-benefit analysis determined by the Volunteering Tasmania – value of volunteering calculator ( The same methodology has been used by leading Tasmanian natural resource management entities since 2015, and reported via annual reports, strategic plans etc.

Based on the year 2023 projections of 20 commercial trips per annum, averaging 5 customers per trip, performing 6 hours of conservation activities per trip, this additional cost-benefit return to conservation equates to $287.91 per customer. If this is added to the direct cash-return of $290, the projected cash and in-kind return to conservation is estimated at $577.91 per customer. This extends to a total projected contribution of $57,791 for season 2023, and an $86,685 return to conservation at full annual capacity of thirty trips per annum.

We are proud to be doing our part to support Tasmanian conservation.

All questions to Daniel Hackett, Wild Drake P/L