Opening up Tasmania's wilderness area a 'selfish land-grab' Selfish land grab Photo: Rob Blakers

Former Greens leader Bob Brown accuses government backers of having dollar signs in their eyes over plans to allow tourist developments in protected areas.

The Tasmanian government is on course to “trash” the state’s wilderness world heritage area if proposed tourist development goes ahead in the region, the former Greens leader Bob Brown has said.

“Tasmania’s unique status in having the only world heritage area on Earth actually labelled ‘wilderness’ should be thrown out if this selfish land-grab goes ahead,” Brown said on Sunday.

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Wilderness lost as Tasmania opens world heritage area for new growth

Matthew Denholm, Tasmania Correspondent, THE AUSTRALIAN JANUARY 15, 2015

 The Australian

TASMANIA’S  Liberal government is to take the “wilderness’’ out of the state’s iconic Wilderness World Heritage Area, rezoning it to allow tourism developments, more aircraft and ship access, and even selective logging.

The radical plans, which have provoked outrage from conservationists, are contained in a draft ­revised management plan for the Tasmanian Wilderness WHA ­obtained by The Australian.

As well as suggesting the term “wilderness’’ be dumped from the title of the 1.5 million hectare property, which covers a fifth of the state, the draft plan reclassifies its dominant “wilderness zone’’ as a “natural zone’’.

The plan opens up this former wilderness zone to new tourist accom­modation, previously limited to visitor service sites.

As well, it increases access for aircraft and paves the way for new cruise ship stays and hut developments, while creating a process for logging of special species timbers, previously banned.

Also dumped is the existing plan’s overriding vision to manage the globally significant region so as to leave it “in as good or better condition than at present”.


Read the full article on The Australian website. A subscription to The Australian may be required for access to this article.

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Blueprint revealed for tourism projects in World Heritage Areas

MATT SMITH State Political Editor, Mercury, January 15, 2015


WORLD Heritage Areas previously deemed no-go zones for tourism opportunities would be opened up for development under a bold plan to be unveiled by the State Government.

A copy of the Draft Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan, obtained by the Mercury, shows vast areas previously protected from development will be rezoned to allow new tourism opportunities.

The plan shows new tourism acc­ommodation could be built in areas which had previously allowed for no new development.

Read the full Mercury article here.

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Tasmania’s national parks open for business

PRIVATE tourism operators and developers will have greater involvement in the future of Tasmania’s national parks and World Heritage Areas under an agreement between the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service and the Tourist Industry Council Tasmania.


Former Greens leader Bob Brown yesterday accused the Government of privatising Tasmanian’s protected areas.

“In the same week that the Hodgman Government announced a $30 million public subsidy to debt-ridden Forestry Tasmania, it announces this plan to effectively privatise the mission of the Parks and Wildlife Service,” he said yesterday.

“This is a perversion of public interest priorities.”

Dr Brown said he would refer the agreement to the Tasmanian Integrity Commission this week.

To read the full article on The Mercury website click here.

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Environmental NGOs proposal to protect the "Tasmanian Brand"

Weld Valley
Weld Valley. Photo: Bill Hatcher

Tasmania's exceptional natural and cultural heritage is central to the "Tasmanian Brand" that attracts visitors to this island State from around the world.

Tasmania's Environment NGOs have today joined in a unanimous call for a better approach to strengthening the management of Tasmania's Wilderness World Heritage Area rather than the weakening of its management that is currently proposed by the Tasmanian Government.

Read the full media release here.

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The Tasmanian Government are mistaking environmental devastation for progress

Recherche Bay is just outside the World Heritage Area. Picture: Bob Brown

The Bob Brown Foundation has warned that the Tasmanian Government can not be trusted to manage environmentally sensitive areas, saying that the World Heritage Area is a no go zone for development.

Read the full media release here.

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Remove the word “wilderness” from the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area?

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Bob's latest article (printed in The Mercury 13 Nov 2014) addresses the Hodgman Government’s plan to offer monopoly spots in Tasmania’s prime wilderness for exclusive “eco-tourism” resorts.

"Invading the World Heritage wilderness with modern structures is counterproductive — like gutting the goose that laid the golden egg.

It is also unnecessary — fabulous resorts sites offering seclusion and natural spectacle are readily available outside the World Heritage area."

Read the full article here.

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Calls on Senator Colbeck to resign over disastrous World Heritage delisting attempt

Alec Marr, who was part of the Tasmanian environment groups delegation to the World Heritage Committee meeting, has called on Senator Richard Colbeck to resign for his role in the failed attempt to delist 74,000 ha from the Tasmanian World Heritage Area.

Alec Marr said on Radio National Breakfast this morning that Senator Colbeck has "done more damage to Australia's standing in the World Heritage Convention than...anything else in the last 30 years" and should resign immediately.

Listen to the full interview here.

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Tasmania's World Heritage forests saved in unanimous decision by World Heritage Committee


The World Heritage Committee has unanimously rejected the Australian Government proposal to remove 74,000 ha of forests from the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

It took less than 8 minutes for the Committee to dismiss the proposal, in a forum where lively debate often continues for hours.

After the two UNESCO expert scientific bodies, ICOMOS and IUCN, dismissed the proposal as "sparse" and a backward step, three countries spoke against proposal.  Portugal described the proposal as "feeble" and noted the opposition from the Australian Senate, environment groups and indigenous Tasmanians.

When the chair invited member states to speak in support of the Australian proposal, there was complete silence.

The proposal was unanimously rejected in a humiliating rebuke to the dishonest attempt by Prime Minister Abbott and Senators Abetz and Colbeck to mislead the World Heritage Committee.

You can watch video of the session here.  The 'debate' on the Tasmanian World Heritage Area is in Plenary 15 and starts at 2:27:00

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Video highlights of Defend World Heritage public meeting

On Wednesday 21st May, Hobart Town Hall was packed to overflowing for our public meeting to defend World Heritage. If you weren't able to be there, here's a short video of some of the highlights.

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