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Gutwein Deaf to UNESCO Calls for Wilderness Protection

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 23 June 2021

Tags: Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, UNESCO, World Heritage, Parks, Parks EOIs

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader and Parks spokesperson

On the same day UNESCO declared the Great Barrier Reef ‘in danger’, the World Heritage Committee delivered a hefty smack to the Liberals’ Expressions of Interest process for development in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, the Liberals development-at-any-cost chickens are coming home to roost. 

When we asked the Premier about it in Parliament this morning, he said he hadn’t read UNESCO’s draft decision.  Despite that, unsurprisingly, he still had plenty to say about it.

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is a priceless and globally-significant wilderness area.

It’s the jewel in Tasmania’s crown, and the Premier couldn’t even be bothered reading the World Heritage Committee’s report highlighting growing concerns within UNESCO about the Liberals’ ‘management’ of wilderness and cultural values in the TWWHA. 

UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee put the Liberals on notice. Their draft decision makes it clear they have concerns about the State Government’s exploitation agenda for Tasmania’s extraordinary South West wilderness.

It’s clear the World Heritage Committee’s concerns about the EOI process have not been assuaged by the government’s Tourism Master Plan.  In fact, far from it. 
Rather, they have cited further concerns and requested any development that impacts upon the World Heritage Area’s Outstanding Universal Values be referred back to them. 
Of course they don’t trust the Gutwein Government, why would they? 

We would expect the Lake Malbena heli-tourism proposal is on its way to the World Heritage Committee right now, given its significant wilderness impacts which have been confirmed by the Parks and Wildlife Service itself.
UNESCO have been clear - the wilderness values of the TWWHA should be considered in all decisions related to this unique place. They want an end to the EOI process. 

Tasmanians from across the island and from all walks of life are angered by the Liberals’ privatisation and development agenda for the TWWHA. They have been ignored, while developers are given the red carpet treatment. Peter Gutwein can’t ignore the World Heritage Committee.