Environmental Concerns Raised As Government Reveal Tourism Master Plan

Mixed reactions over wilderness plan

Article heading image for Environmental Concerns Raised As Government Reveal Tourism Master Plan


The Tasmanian Government have come under scrutiny after the release of new tourism developments within the heritage listed wilderness.

Several environmental groups have raised concerns over the protection of the land, saying the Tourism Master Plan (TMP) is far from providing the natural landscape with long-haul benefits. 

A spokesperson from the Tasmania Wilderness Society, Tom Allen, said the development is not as delicate as it seems, ultimately interfering with and impacting Aboriginal heritage regions.

"While talking up wilderness, World Heritage and palawa culture, in reality, the State Government is privatising national parks, degrading wilderness and ignoring the community, who are being excluded from their national parks and who oppose parks privatisation," Allen said. 

"The Tourism Master Plan talks about respecting the palawa-pakan peoples and yet the island's First Peoples, including the Tasmanian Aboriginal Heritage Council, are routinely ignored on parks privatisation."

Allen also argued that the release of the plan, which arrived this week, does not protect the integrity of wilderness and the land occupied by native Indigenous people.

Parks minister Jacquie Petrusma said the TMP aims to boost guidance and direction for the tourism aspects relating to the Tasmanian environmental landscape, adding that 82 per cent of the area will not be impacted by developments and remain untouched.

"The TMP recognises the importance of Tasmanian Aboriginal people's direct involvement in decision making, through initiatives including the establishment of a Cultural Heritage Decision Protocol for the presentation and interpretation of Aboriginal cultural heritage," she said.

"Other key priorities are reviewing the use of aircraft across the entire Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Areas (TWWHA), including the development of an Air Access Policy, which will outline appropriate flight frequency, flight paths, routes and no-fly areas."

The 10-year plan seeks to introduce and recognise a way in which Aboriginal owners of the land have their voices heard in environmental decisions. Ms Petrusma said tourism developments plan to respect the TWWHA which makes up nearly one quarter of the state. 

The state government aim for all parties to come together on this plan, enabling Tasmania to become the "eco-tourism capital of the world".

Catch up on the latest headlines on The Tasmania Briefing. Available on LiSTNR

3 June 2021

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