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Greens, Conservationists Ready to Fight Privatisation of South Coast Track

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 24 February 2022

Tags: National Parks, Parks EOIs, Parks, Environment, Privatisation

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Parks spokesperson

The South Coast Track is 85km of life changing wilderness walking, traversing long windswept beaches, mountain ranges, lush rainforest and vast moorlands. Truly wild and wondrous.

For decades bushwalkers from across the globe have made the pilgrimage to Melaleuca to begin their week long adventure to Cockle Creek. The walk is transformative to the human spirit, and it is necessarily arduous. 

To privitise and sanitise the South Coast Track would destroy its integrity and the increasingly rare experience of wild-ness.

To build a track of the standard expected by those that would pay many thousands of dollars for a lodge based walk would cost tens of millions of dollars. This would likely be at the expense of taxpayers, all to benefit a private company and to the detriment of wilderness.

Experience Co is an ASX listed company based in Queensland, headed up by the former Chair and Managing Director of Tourism Australia. The big boys are moving in, and they clearly want to turn the Tasmanian wilderness into a Gold Coast styled theme park. 

We won’t stand for it. Nor will anyone whose lives have been forever changed on their south coast odyssey.

The Southwest National Park is enormously significant to the Tasmanian Aboriginal community and the ongoing presence of their 40,000 year history is embedded in every step of the South Coast Track. This place cannot be developed in any way without their expressed permission.

The South Coast Track EOIs need to be torn up. Apart from anything, they fly in the face of UNESCO requests for a comprehensive cultural heritage assessment over the entire TWWHA before any development be considered.

The white shoe brigade, and their enablers in the Gutwein Government should be warned. The Greens, Aboriginal Tasmanians, conservationists, walkers, fishers and all Tasmanians who love the South West wilderness will fight them every step of the way.