‘Tasmania is full of surprises’ - David Attenborough.
‘Tasmania will astound the world’ - Bob Brown.
Here are ten surprises of the wrong sort for watchers of the fabulous David Attenborough film about Tasmania on ABC TV, Sunday night. They come from the Liberal Premier of Tasmania, Will Hodgman. He:
- wanted the word ‘wilderness’ scrubbed from the name Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
- promotes dozens of dams blocking platypus-habitat Tasmanian streams, with no environmental assessment or report.
- is the prime reason Tasmania lags behind almost every similar place on Earth when it comes to marine national parks.
- is logging and burning ancient rainforest in the Tarkine, where police were called in to arrest peaceful protectors just last Wednesday.
- seeks private profiteers to invade rare wilderness, like in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, with top-end tourist lodges, but ...
- has ignored calls for tourism amenities in the Styx Valley, showplace of the world’s tallest flowering trees (eucalypts). He wants it logged.
- is daily reducing the habitat for Tasmanian Devils, wombats, and Swift Parrots against the advice of experts.
- wants ecocidal fish farms spread in Storm Bay, on King Island and Three Hummock Island, and on the Bass Strait coast from Stanley to Rocky Cape.
- as Minister for both Tourism and National Parks has left remote Melalueca, Liaweene and the Tarkine with no resident rangers but has placed rangers at each of three tourist huts on the Three Capes Track.
- plans off-road vehicles to drive over plastic strips to be placed on fragile Aboriginal sites on the Tarkine coast.
Tasmania’s greatest asset is the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Its authentic wilderness needs retaining as remote, pristine nature without invasive infrastructure. Tasmania’s reputation requires an end to the taxpayer-subsidised clearfelling of wildlife-filled native forests and the desecration of Aboriginal heritage. Our foundation has joined the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre to protect takayna / Tarkine and return it to Aboriginal ownership.
The key word is authentic. Visitors to this island of surprises can see forests, waterfalls, snow-topped mountains and a host of wildlife from their car windows. Short walks let them hear, feel and smell ancient nature as well.
Tasmania’s wilderness should be kept authentic, remote and free so that in a future more bereft of wild nature, it will astound the world.
Photo: Styx Valley 'tourism drive' - Bob Brown