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World Heritage Area - Tourism Master Plan

2 May 2019
Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr WOODRUFF question to PREMIER

Your corrupted EOI process for parks and reserves is putting our globally significant wilderness World Heritage Area at risk. UNESCO recognised the threat your Government's large-scale, luxury tourism plans have for the TWWHA which is why they insisted you develop a tourism master plan before increased private development was allowed.

The first of your public information sessions on this very overdue tourism master plan is being held today at Geeveston. The successful tenderer responsible for drafting the master plan, chosen over other tenderers, is a private consultant who is being engaged at a cost of more $300 000 to the taxpayer. Is it not true that this private consultant is also working for EOI proponents, including on at least one proposal within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area? This serious conflict of interest is yet another example of your shoddy, pro-development, corruption of process has come back to bite you. When will you finally listen to Tasmanians who our public lands belong to instead of your business mates and walk away from that corrupted EOI process?

ANSWER

Madam Speaker, I thank the member for the question but not the ridiculously inflammatory content of it. I dispute any suggestions -

Dr Woodruff - It is entirely factual.

Mr HODGMAN - It is entirely not. 

Dr Woodruff - It is so overdue. UNESCO did want it because you were going to destroy the wilderness area with your plans.

Mr HODGMAN - What we have done is secure UNESCO support for what we do to manage our wilderness World Heritage Area. What we have done is establish a process which is robust, and which requires additional layers to be considered before anything can be taken further in this process. It is done robustly, separately from executive government. 

Independent and expert advice informs decisions that are made and will allow Tasmania to continue to be a world leader in ecotourism operations. It ensures that we embrace and harness the ideas for what is one of the world's great tourism industries. Its operators are amongst the best in understanding what best protects our wilderness and environmental values, of what can be done to ensure that more of us are able to visit them. That drives not only visitation to our state but also encourages Tasmanians to celebrate what is so special about our state and its wilderness areas. 

As evidenced by the question, of course there is community interest. Of course, we have allowed for additional layers of consultation with communities. It is open and transparent. Yes, we will always preserve and protect the commercial interests of those who come forward but it does not mean, as the member suggests, that it is open slather. They have to pass not only the process but also all relevant state and Commonwealth approvals processes. That is an additional layer that we have ensured occur with this process. 

Unlike the member who so often demands of us that we not interfere in process, we will not be doing it. I am certainly not behaving or doing anything such as she asserts in that question.