Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Environment and Parks spokesperson
The State Budget, like the Liberals’ previous Budgets, has an obvious loser - our environment and Parks. With the exception of some extra Federal funds, it provides no additional State money.
Tourists from around the world are flocking to Tasmania because of its unique wilderness areas and natural beauty. Increased tourism in our protected areas also risks deteriorating natural assets and increases biosecurity threats if left unchecked.
The State Budget desperately needed to include more Parks and Wildlife staff, including rangers, to cope with our increased visitation.
Last year, bushfires destroyed irreplaceable Gondwanan wilderness within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. In a time of accelerating climate change, it is irresponsible not to include real funds for remote area firefighting, if we are to prevent the State losing more of our priceless wilderness.
The Liberals’ short sighted approach to the environment puts the State’s protected areas under threat. Their careless attitude and environmental mismanagement threatens to kill the goose that laid the golden egg.
If we want to ensure our tourism numbers remain stable, and not just a boom, we need to make sure we don’t lose the very thing people come to visit.