Environmental Groups rally local, national & global support for Wilderness
Warning of Groom's Wilderness Construction Boom
Tasmania’s leading environment organisations are campaigning for local, national and global support for Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area as the State Government pushes ahead with their plans to weaken protection of the globally significant area.
With Tasmanian public meetings, outreach to International allies, partner groups hosting a meeting in Melbourne and online action, the community is being rallied to urge the State Government to maintain rigorous protections.
Two public meetings on the issue of threats to the Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area will be held in Tasmania in the next fortnight. Tomorrow night in Launceston will be the first meeting, and next Tuesday 3 March in Hobart at lunch time, a second meeting will be hosted. In Melbourne on the 12 March, Friends of the Earth will host a public meeting.
In Launceston, speakers are Environmentalist Bob Brown, The Wilderness Society’s Vica Bayley, Tasmanian Greens Leader and Bass MHA Kim Booth, and Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre’s Adam Thompson. From 6 pm, the meeting will be held at the Pilgrim Uniting Church.
In Hobart, on Tuesday 3 March, speakers are World Heritage Expert Jamie Kirkpatrick, Environmentalist Bob Brown, Champion Orienteer & Runner Hanny Allston, and Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre’s Ruth Langford.
Bob Brown Foundation’s Jenny Weber states, “In moves that are incompatible with the preservation of a unique wild place, Tasmania’s government is laying bare the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area to logging, mining and invasive tourism projects. More than 2000 people have made submissions at our online action to the State Government calling for them to abandon their plans to degrade the World Heritage Area. Now these public meetings provide the public another way to stand up and defend the unique Tasmanian Wilderness.”
Tasmanian Conservation Trusts Peter McGlone states, “The draft plan for managing the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is weak and needs to be drastically altered to ensure protection for the World Heritage Area. In current draft form the plan has been changed to fit the interests of the proponents for development inside the property. The Government has released details of just eight projects interested in developments in the World Heritage Area but these include private 20 huts and lodges and the draft plan places no limit on how many may be allowed.”
“Our National Parks are a legacy handed down to us by Tasmanians who had the foresight to preserve what they held to be precious. They are not the Government’s to give away or auction off to the highest bidder,” says Robert Campbell from the Tasmanian National Parks Association. “It is very concerning that at the time that the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area management plan is under review the Tasmanian Government is assessing Expressions of Interest for development of tourism experiences and associated infrastructure in the TWWHA and other National Parks and Reserves. This is pre-empting and contemptuous of the ongoing public comment and review period.”
BirdLife Tasmania will alert their international allies to the State Government’s threat to internationally critical habitats from the proposed developments and weakening of protections in the draft management plan. The proposed developments in the TWWHA pose serious risks to recently assessed international bird values according to BirdLife Tasmania Convenor, Dr Eric Woehler. A recent national inventory of Important Bird Areas (IBAs) undertaken by BirdLife Australia, identified three IBAs that overlapped the TWWHA. "IBAs are recognised internationally as critically in need of the highest levels of protection" Dr Woehler said, and the proposed weakening of protection for these internationally significant areas poses serious risks to the birds present Dr Woehler added.
IBAs are based on international criteria, so that the assessments around the world are compatible. BirdLife Australia will be raising our concerns with the international bird conservation community to alert partners around the globe of the serious risks to these critical areas.
CONTACT FOR MORE INFORMATION
JENNY WEBER 0427 366 929