You are here

Liberals Caught in World Heritage Bind of Their Own Making

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Saturday, 5 September 2015

Tags: Forests, World Heritage, UNESCO, Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, Environment

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Forests spokesperson

The Hodgman Government is delusional if it believes it can negotiate with the UNESCO World Heritage committee to allow logging, mining and intensified private tourism operations in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

National media reports suggest the Hodgman Government is caught in an impossible bind of its own making.  It has declared the TWWHA open to logging but reportedly told the Federal Environment Minister that it will not log the wilderness without the World Heritage Committee’s agreement.

That is not going to happen.

The Liberals destructive plan for the WHA was slammed in July this year when the UNESCO Committee called on Australia to “ensure that commercial logging and mining are not permitted within the entire property.” 

The UN delegation coming to visit Tasmania later this year is doing so because UNESCO is deeply concerned about the actions and intentions of the Hodgman Government.

Environment Minister, Matthew Groom, has not only failed to stand up for World Heritage values, he is actively undermining them by backing logging, mining and increased private development in the TWWHA.

The smart thing to do now is for the Minister or the Premier to backpedal frantically, change course and rule out the destruction of World Heritage values in Tasmania.

This would not only be the right thing to do by the environment, it would ensure a little less egg on Minister Groom’s face when the World Heritage delegation makes its visit to Tasmania.