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Liberals’ UNESCO Gaslight

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Friday, 23 July 2021

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

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Acting Greens Leader

Tasmanians from across the island and from all walks of life have been angered by the Liberals’ privatisation and development agenda for the TWWHA. They are ignored, while developers are given the red carpet treatment. 

UNESCO have growing concerns about the Liberals’ ‘management’ of wilderness and cultural values in the TWWHA. Their draft Decision before the World Heritage Committee meeting put the Gutwein Government on notice.

The Committee remains very concerned about the Liberals’ EOI process, and have requested any development that impacts upon the World Heritage Area’s Outstanding Universal Values be referred back to them. 
Instead of answering like a responsible custodian, the State and Federal Liberals have tried to gaslight UNESCO. Both governments wrote back to the Committee with a watered down statement that removed any reference to “avoiding development” before a cultural assessment plan is developed. 

They replaced it with a vetting requirement that would urge Australia to “ensure new development proposals at the property are consistent with” the Area’s management plan. The same Management Plans that have been redrafted by the Liberals to facilitate controversial EOI development proposals, including those at Lake Malbena and on the South Coast Track. 

New Parks Minister, Jacquie Petrusma said the UNESCO’s draft Decision was ‘impractical, and potentially outside the functions of the World Heritage Committee’. 

Sorry Minister, but protecting wilderness is only ‘impractical’ to those seeking to exploit and destroy it. 

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is a priceless and globally-significant wilderness area. It’s the jewel in Tasmania’s crown and should be protected in perpetuity. 

UNESCO were clear and correct – the wilderness values of the TWWHA should be considered in all decisions related to this unique place.