Andrea Dawkins MP | Greens' Tourism spokesperson
Parks Minister, Matthew Groom’s Parks 21 progress report today comes on the heels of yesterday's Auditor General's report into Parks and Wildlife funding. The Auditor General articulated a clear lack of appropriate funding for Parks management.
Recent tourist data confirms that Tasmania’s natural values are the biggest drawcard for visitors to our beautiful island State. But this government's warped priorities put that at risk.
Without proper funding, Tasmania's Parks are at risk from poorly managed increased visitation.
Management of Parks must be funded appropriately to not only ensure a positive visitor experience, but also to safeguard these remarkable protected areas for future generations.
The Three Capes Track was touted as one of the major successes of the Parks 21 project, a collaboration between Parks and the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania. Not only have they gifted the guiding rights to a single high-end business, but the Liberals also planned to log the moratorium forest in its immediate vicinity.
Resources Minister, Guy Barnett, was forced to backtrack at lightning speed and rule out logging in the area, after it came to light.
This government continue to say their forestry agenda can coexist with a successful tourism industry. The Liberals are deluded if they think visitors to Tasmania want to see clearfelled coupes when they are arriving in droves to see our wilderness.
The Liberals are putting the very industry they crow about at risk with their warped budget priorities and politically motivated attack on Tasmania's high conservation value forests.
If the Liberals want visitors to keep arriving, they must fund Parks appropriately and admit the State's high conservation value forests are worth more standing.