While the necessary details have not been released, the Tasmanian Conservation Trust cautiously welcomed the state government’s announcement that it intends to create a new Parks and Reserves Authority to manage all reserves on public land.

‘For more than a decade the TCT has recommended that the state government create an independent Parks and Reserves Authority and we are please that the government seems to be taking the first step in this direction,’ said TCT Director Peter McGlone.

With the government’s proposed changes to management of non-productive state forest and anticipating the new reserves proposed under the Tasmanian Forests Agreement Bill, the public reserves estate is set to increase to just under 50% of Tasmania.

‘Our reserve system may soon cover half of Tasmania so the state government’s announcement is fitting recognition of the importance of our national parks and reserves,’ Mr McGlone continued.

‘But there must be more than just a name change for the Parks and Wildlife Service – we need legislative reform to ensure the proposed authority is truly independent and better protects our reserves.

‘For too long the Parks and Wildlife Service has suffered being a mere division within the Department of Primary Industry, Parks, Water and Environment.

‘We need to give the new authority a stronger legislative charter to protect and conserve natural and cultural values free of the whims of ministers and economic vested interests.

‘We need to see a real change on the ground – we need to see a greater focus on delivering on-ground land management in a professional manner.

‘We have a world class reserve system and now we have a change of creating a truly world class parks and reserves management agency to look after it.’

‘We look forward to the government releasing further details on the proposed new Parks and Reserves Authority,’ Mr McGlone concluded.
Peter McGlone, Director Tasmanian Conservation Trust