Premier Hodgman is privatising the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area by stealth, Bob Brown will tell a national conference of Outdoor Educators in Hobart this afternoon.
‘Tasmania has a global reputation for wilderness. This is its key brand for visitors and there is nowhere else on Earth quite like it. But Premier Hodgman is dismantling decades of planning expertise put in to protecting that wilderness reputation and, like a bull in a china shop, wrecking it to please a small queue of profiteers seeking private monopoly developments in pristine wilderness sites.'
‘The change of wilderness status at Lake Malbena in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park and, next, Frenchmans Cap in the TWWHA is the thin end of Hodgman’s wedge. No wonder that he wants to drop the word ‘wilderness’ itself from the name of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.'
‘Behind this invasion is a small queue of government-connected profiteers who see gold in the premier handing them monopoly private sites in what they see as a smorgasbord of scenic gems. The game plan is simple: get Hodgman to sign over Lake Geeves under Federation Peak, the South Coast Track, Lake Malbena, Frenchmans Cap, or the doorway to Cradle Mountain with a guarantee of no competitors and wait for the high-end, largely fly-in-fly-out, money to start rolling in.'
‘Hodgman falsely calls this ‘ecotourism’ but, for those seeking authenticity of product it is really “Eek, oh!” tourism. He is selling out the very thing that has been core to Tasmania’s tourism success.'
Brown is giving the closing address to the Outdoor Education Australia conference at the Grand Chancellor Hotel at 3.30 pm. He will also be at the Federal Court in Davey Street this morning for the handing down of a decision re Tassal’s fish farm at Okehampton Bay on Tasmania’s east coast.