Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

Adventure and Wilderness

Another ugly little local truth behind the tourism façade

Pic: Kevin Kiernan



There was a time when it seemed like nearly everyone who lived in the Huon was passionate about the area, and particularly about the Huon River itself.

During the early Pedder years then local MLC young Michael Hodgman used to put a container of muddied Huon River water on the parliamentary table each day to draw attention to the degradation of the river being caused by hydro-electric construction at Scotts Peak.

That local love and care still persisted a few years ago when the construction of a new bridge across the Huon, associated with the Southwood development, saw establishment of a scenic picnic spot there.  A brightly painted wall constructed in the picnic area was presumably the product of local schoolkids having become involved in what seemed destined to be another little low key gem among the local scenic options.

How times have changed.

It was not long before the first evidence of rubbish dumping appeared.  Initially it was sufficiently small scale that it was possible to clean some of it up when passing by.

But the dumping increased in scale and was then followed by a burnt out, presumably stolen, car.  The schoolkids artwork was vandalised, and next it was piles of burnt tyres – any clean up now required trucks, no longer just garbage bag exercises by passing bushwalkers and others.

A quick response to the emerging problem by those responsible for management of the site might have nipped things in the bud, but instead the situation was allowed to continue.  Cleaning up might need to be repeated, but not cleaning up and not attempting to deal with those responsible just sends a message that no-one cares, effectively giving an okay to such behaviour continuing.

The accompanying photograph depict a little of the state of the place as I saw it today, 15 October 2018.  The graffiti also present on an adjacent road cutting was too predictable to bother including.

The multiple piles of burnt tyres in various place beside the road on both sides of the bridge indicate the current mess is not the result of just one or two sessions, but of an ongoing sequence of tyre burning, whether by yobbos or as a more organised exercise in getting rid of tyres that might otherwise attract a disposal fee.

In a state where seemingly all that now matters is what tourist see and spend rather than the quality of the environment enjoyed by mere Tasmanians, a nearby sign designating the road as a “Priority Truck Route – use at your own risk” is presumably seen as sufficient insurance against tourists seeing another ugly little local truth behind the tourism façade, hence no official response is apparently deemed necessary.

Whatever happened to the love and intense pride that was felt by previous residents of the Huon?

So sad that it no longer seems sufficiently strong in the hearts of those who dwell there, that they do not demand better of those who purport to govern and serve them, and of the forest industry that established the route, maintain the road and supposedly “manage” the area.

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  1. Claire Gilmour

    October 17, 2018 at 3:17 pm

    FT/STT are the biggest and most ignorant climate changing instigators in Tasmania, in my opinion.

    Something to be said for having only off-road vehicle/walking track access only in some areas.

    Unfortunately Forestry Tasmania (Sustainable Timbers Tasmania) created many an area which use to be walking/bike tracks only into gravel highways so dickheads could dump anything and everything.

    Apparently STT are into utilising the leftovers in forests … so rubbish dumpers/collectors as they are, they should make a killing off all trash … IF they are so-called ‘managers’ of our state forests, then they should be managing and cleaning up properly. They cannot pick and choose what to clean up after in their wake.

    Sustainable Timbers Tasmania are creating huge fire risks by ignoring their responsibilities in state forests.

    I know because their forestry practices burnt and destroyed 90% of my property …

    FT/STT are the biggest and most ignorant climate changing instigators in Tasmania, in my opinion.

  2. Russell

    October 17, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Councils should make recycling easier with proper bins in shopping centres and free facilities at all tips.

    If there was a deposit scheme on all bottles that would also make a huge difference with kids collecting them all to cash in.

  3. Mark Cooney

    October 16, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Both major parties are focused upon allowing the tourism juggernaut to careen down a well worn path through our environment and pre-existing lifestyle unmanaged and unhindered. This is a well worn path, evident in many other communities worldwide, which results in rent prices pushing out local tenants to make way for holiday rentals and community links eroded, roads becoming jammed with tourist vehicles, wildlife being scared away when tourists cannot view landmarks because of the crowds, and fragile environments becoming degraded.

    There’s a lowest common denominator approach to Hodgman’s “Tasmania’s open for business” mantra – it’s predicated upon quantity rather than quality, and it places the imperative of getting as many landed tourists above the quality of life for those who live here, with little care afforded to infrastructure and social services that exists out of range of the conveyer belt tourism trail sites.

  4. Pete Godfrey

    October 16, 2018 at 7:30 am

    It seems that people go to a lot of trouble to find out of the way places to dump their rubbish. They drive 10 kilometres up Mount Barrow to party and then leave their rubbish behind, and they even bring ute-loads of garden rubbish and dump it at the picnic area. Some lovely folk decided that the picnic table under the trees was not in the right spot, so they tore it out of the ground (breaking it in the process) and moved it to where they wanted it to be.

    Near Golden Valley, when I lived there, there was a favourite spot where people avoided tip fees by just dumping their rubbish in the forest. It seems that they believe that someone will clean up after them, or they have the attitude that they won’t be back so will never have to look at the mess.

    Unfortunately we live on a planet with far too many people whose consciousness has not risen beyond their own immediate desires.

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