The Hodgman Liberal Government is committed to restoring recreational access to the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area in a way that ensures the proper protection of its natural and cultural heritage values.
We took a commitment to the election to reopen recreational access to the Arthur-Pieman area, and despite being frustrated in the courts, we intend to deliver.
Liberal Members for Braddon, Adam Brooks and Joan Rylah, have today announced that the Tasmanian Government has referred to the Australian Government for formal assessment of our Plan to allow for responsible recreational access between Sandy Cape and the Pieman River within the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area.
“We went to the election promising to reverse the Labor Green lock ups to allow recreational off-road vehicles to enjoy the Arthur-Pieman area, and we intend to deliver,” Mr Brooks said.
“As a result of court action by those opposed to reopening access, we are now obliged to submit an application to the Federal Government under the EPBC Act.
“The referral will seek approval to undertake works required to support the re-opening of tracks 501,503 and 601 in a responsible way.
“The reopening of these routes along the spectacular West Coast will deliver one of the truly great off-road experiences on offer in Australia and is supported by many in the community.”
Mrs Rylah said that in making the application the Government was seeking to strike the right balance between access and protecting Aboriginal heritage.
“The referral includes a number of conditions to be applied to ensure appropriate protection of the area including adherence to strict rules around driver behaviour, allowing access only between the non-winter months, and the requirement to obtain special permits for certain tracks,” Mrs Rylah said.
“The referral will now be considered under the Australian Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, and we look forward to the Commonwealth’s decision.”
“Now that the referral has been made I will be strongly advocating for the reinstatement of the Arthur Pieman Management Committee, to allow the community a stronger voice on this issue and also the overall management of the area after the Commonwealth decision.”
Mrs Rylah also said that she believed managed, licensed access would reduce incidences of unauthorised access and vandalism.
The referral document detailing the works planned to mitigate impacts is available at http://epbcnotices.environment.gov.au/referralslist/