Last year’s minor boundary extension to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) has been vindicated following the release of a Senate Committee report, Greens Leader Kim Booth MP said today.
“The Tasmanian Greens welcome the Senate Committee’s recommendation that the Abbott government withdraws its proposal to the World Heritage Committee to remove 74, 000 hectares from the TWWHA,” Mr Booth said.
“We call on Premier Will Hodgman to back this recommendation and to lobby the Prime Minister to drop his ill-informed and destructive push to reduce our internationally acclaimed world heritage area.”
“The Senate Committee report states that the Abbott government’s proposal to remove 74, 000 hectares, “is fundamentally flawed and will have an adverse impact on the values of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area... is misleading and fails to consider boundary integrity, ecological connectivity, potential for rehabilitation, and the many outstanding geomorphological features in the area”.”
“Despite recent hysteria over alleged degraded areas contained in the WHA, the report cites expert evidence which categorically refutes these claims, including the federal Department of the Environment which told the committee only 4 per cent was heavily degraded.”
“Additionally, Forestry Tasmania advised the committee that approximately 48 per cent of the 74, 000 hectares contains old growth forest.”
“The Prime Minister must now do the honourable thing in light of the evidence put before this Senate inquiry, and withdraw his proposal.”
Mr Booth also said the Greens endorse the Report’s second recommendation that the study of cultural heritage values of the extended TWWHA be commenced and completed in collaboration with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community and submitted to the World Heritage Committee by February 2015.