The claims by the Premier, Will Hodgman, that his Trade Mission to China will be taking “Tasmania to the World” has been exposed as a sham, given his refusal to confirm that he will be promoting Tasmania’s internationally acclaimed wilderness during his visit.
“It was an extraordinary and telling sight in Parliament during Question Time when the Premier virtually choked on the word ‘wilderness’,” Greens Leader Kim Booth MP said.
“It was a pretty straight forward question.”
“Given Tourism Tasmania’s 2014 Asia Sales Mission which promoted the fact that many visitors seek pristine wilderness and gourmet experiences in remarkable settings, and many Asian tourism operators have developed tour packages around our Wilderness brand, it is incumbent upon the Premier to be honest and upfront with our neighbours during his Trade Mission.”
“Will the Premier be actively promoting our internationally acclaimed Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, or will he inform Chinese representatives that his government is actively trying to get rid of the Wilderness brand?”
“The Premier must operate in good faith when representing Tasmanians on such international visits. Either he reconfirms to the Chinese that he has abandoned the push to abolish the wilderness status of our WHA, or he informs them that they need to undo their current tourism campaigns based on wilderness.”
“Will Hodgman also failed to inform the House whether his government has undertaken a current assessment of the dollar value of our recognised wilderness status to Tasmania’s Brand, and the Greens call for that assessment to be undertaken as a matter of urgency,” Mr Booth said.