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Liberals Plundering Protected Areas, Underfunding Parks

Andrea Dawkins

Andrea Dawkins  -  Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Tags: Parks, Threatened Species

Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens’ Parks spokesperson

The Liberals’ announcement today of funding for Parks’ infrastructure is more about corporate welfare and special favours to developers than it is about protecting our world class national parks and reserves.

Over the past four years they have starved the Parks and Wildlife Service of funding to the point where there are too few rangers and field workers on the ground to properly manage areas subject to substantially increased visitation and human impacts.  At the same time, they are opening up our public protected areas to a private developer feeding frenzy.

Liberal policy would deliver private lodges and huts in the Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park, along the South Coast track and at Frenchmans Cap.  These are public protected areas yet the Liberals are letting private profiteers in through a secretive Expressions of Interest process.

Meanwhile, they have gutted the Threatened Species Unit to near non-existence and allowed recovery plans for our iconic threatened species to gather dust.

Their policies threaten the wilderness and cultural values of Tasmania’s protected areas.  It’s actually sickening to hear them try to pretend they want to invest in Parks when every action of theirs in government has undermined the integrity of our Parks system.

If they truly cared for our public protected areas, the Liberals would invest in ongoing recurrent funding to increase rangers, maintenance and scientific staff whose job it is to ensure our beautiful national parks and reserves are well managed for current and future generations.