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Tasmanian Government to allow tourism projects in World Heritage Area

Tasmanian Government to allow tourism projects in World Heritage Area
January 15, 2015

The Tasmanian Government is set to encourage a range of new tourism ventures in previously off-limits areas of Tasmania's World Heritage Area.

A new draft management plan for the World Heritage Area is set to scrap the dominant wilderness zone, replacing it with a natural zone in which small-scale tourism ventures, including basic accommodation and nature-based tourism venture, would be allowed.

The tourism industry has welcomed the plan, while environment groups warned it would damage the state's reputation.

Tasmanian Environment Minister Matthew Groom told the ABC that the State Government was open to ideas to provide better access to the World Heritage Area.

Minister Groom stated "we want to be open to sensible and appropriate tourism and recreational experiences.

"We think it's important while at the same time as protecting cultural and natural values, we do something that allows access and celebrates and shares these extraordinary areas with the world."

However, Wilderness Society spokesman Vica Bayley was critical of the plan.

Bayley told the ABC "this draft management plan does away with the concept of wilderness (and) is a hollow piece of PR whereby wilderness is retained in the title but abandoned as a management plan."

Tourism Industry Council Tasmania Chief Executive Luke Martin said the current plan for the World Heritage Area was outdated, stating “the key to conservation is allowing people to see them, fall in love with them and want to fight for their preservation.”

Minister Groom added "the Tasmanian Government acknowledges and encourages the continued widespread community interest in the way the TWWHA (Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area) is managed.

"We are particularly keen to make sure that anyone who wants to have a say can do so, which is why we have doubled the minimum statutory consultation period."

A formal public consultation period for the plan will run from 19th January to 22nd March.

2nd November 2014 - TOURISM RESEARCH AUSTRALIA REPORT INCLUDES ‘MISLEADING’ DATA ON TASMANIA

12th October 2014 - NEW TOURISM ACTIVITIES IN NATIONAL PARKS THREATENS NATURAL HERITAGE

23rd August 2014 - TASMANIA LOOKS TO BOOST TOURISM IN ITS NATURAL AREAS 

7th January 2014 - PARTIAL REOPENING OF TASMANIA’S WEST COAST WILDERNESS RAILWAY

12th July 2013 - TASMANIAN GOVERNMENT TO ESTABLISH NEW BODY TO MANAGE PARKS AND RESERVES

17th May 2012 - TASMANIAN BUSHWALKERS TO ENJOY CITY-WILDERNESS LINK


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