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Significant Resourcing Needed to Save Alpine Wilderness

25 Jan 2016

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Parks spokesperson

With weather conditions easing, this week is the critical week to stave off catastrophic damage to Tasmania’s priceless alpine and rainforest wilderness areas.

It's regrettable that the extra remote area fire-fighters weren’t requested sooner in order to support the Tasmanian Fire Service and the Parks and Wildlife Service in limiting the devastation these unprecedented fires have caused.  We need not only extra fire-fighters in the TWWHA, but we desperately need aerial fire fighting capacity from interstate.

The massive fire front threatens environmental jewels, including the Walls of Jerusalem and Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park, as well as Gondwanan rainforests in the Tarkine and the South West.  If these treasures are lost, they are unlikely to ever recover.

We have a chance this week to save some of the most extraordinary landscapes on the planet, places that are of enormous ecological, social and economic value to Tasmania.

These alpine and temperate rainforest ecosystems are extremely fire sensitive and fragile.  It is our responsibility as their custodians to do everything within our capacity to protect and preserve them.

Both State and Federal governments must take this threat to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and the Tarkine, seriously.  Protecting our globally recognised wilderness and tourism assets is the morally and economically responsible path of action for both governments to take, with urgency.