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Barnett Appointment Purely Political

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Tags: Maria Island, Heritage, Port Arthur

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Heritage spokesperson

In GBE Estimates today, Heritage Minister Matthew Groom was unable to point to any experience the new Chair of the Maria Island Working Group has in natural or cultural management and unable to deny that installing Liberal Lyons MP, Guy Barnett, as Chair was a political appointment.

Mr Barnett is the same Liberal MP who headed up the Triabunna witch hunt Parliamentary Inquiry. Unfortunately, given that it wasn't made on the basis of experience, this appointment smells like an opportunity for Mr Barnett to raise his electorate profile.

The working group has membership from the Parks and Wildlife Service and the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority. It has been tasked with writing a new management model for Maria Island.

Given the dreadful job this government did rewriting the World Heritage Management Plan and the damage done to our international reputation as a result, Tasmanians will be wary about a new plan for the natural and cultural jewel that is Maria Island.

Minister Groom should be clear about what expertise, if any, Mr Barnett will bring to the task.