In their recommendations earlier this year, the World Heritage Committee expressly requested State and Federal governments protect the unique wilderness value of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
The TWWHA Management Plan, released today, contravenes that wish. It prioritises presentation to tourists, over preservation of wilderness.
The Management Plan does not prioritise the maintenance of wilderness. It demonstrates the government is more interested in pushing private development in wilderness areas than protecting the World Heritage values that people travel across the globe to see.
So-called Environment Minister, Matthew Groom, risks destroying the goose that lays the golden egg.
It’s possible to have visitors and locals appreciating the TWWHA while protecting its natural values. That’s what’s been happening for more than a decade, and it’s thanks to Tasmanian conservationists that we have a booming tourism industry today.
Tourism, and the jobs it brings, will be strengthened by encouraging quality developments in regional communities on the boundaries of the TWWHA.
UNESCO recommended a Tourism Master Plan be created for the TWWHA before the final Management Plan was crafted. It’s back to front for the government to release the Management Plan before consulting on a Tourism Master Plan.
When UNESCO made their ruling against logging in the TWWHA, then-Forestry Minister Peter Gutwein said it would be “grossly irresponsible for any government to defy such a ruling.” The same reasoning should apply to all the recommendations of the United Nations in relation to the TWWHA.
In the absence of the Liberals developing a Tourism Master Plan, the Greens have done that work and produced the Guide for Sustainable Tourism in Tasmania’s Protected Areas.*
The Greens welcome the focus on Aboriginal cultural heritage, but it should be alongside the TWWHA’s wilderness values. By its very nature, wilderness protection is at the centre of the protection of all heritage, including Aboriginal heritage.
Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson