Ms DAWKINS question to PREMIER, Mr HODGMAN
The growth in Derby visitation has increased by 250 per cent in the past two years. That growth has been driven by funds made available through the Tasmanian Forest Agreement for building mountain bike trails and has brought new life to a town which did not dare to dream of such a vibrant future. With that agreement now in tatters and your Government threatening to log forests around Derby and the Blue Tier tracks, do you understand why the operators, users and supporters of this fantastic tourism venture are worried? Are you killing the goose that laid the golden egg simply for political point-scoring, or do you truly believe clear-felled and burnt coupes in the Derby and Blue Tier area will appeal as a destination for mountain bike riders from all over the country and the world?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question, although it does sound a little like she hopes it might fail or suffer. I can assure those in the community who may have concerns, this Government and indeed Forestry Tasmania, which has consulted with the local community about these matters, are very careful to ensure that what we do here is balance the needs of a growing forest industry, which this Government supports and will continue to support, and also a booming visitor economy where our reputation now stands amongst the best at a national level and indeed internationally.
The Tasmanian Greens have spent so long damaging our brand, contaminating international markets and utilising media to send a very negative message about our state. They have made careers out of damaging Tasmania's brand. This is proof positive that we can have a strong forest industry and tourism enterprise literally operating side by side with remarkable economic and social benefits. What is happing in the north-east is very exciting indeed, I agree.
It is important to note Forestry Tasmania has consulted very closely, including with the mountain bike community, to align its harvesting plans in the Blue Derby area with the need to track users. Forestry Tasmania's current three-year wood production plan also includes a number of revisions relevant to the Blue Derby area -
Ms O'Connor - Because they can't log there.
Madam SPEAKER - Order. I warn the member for Denison, Ms O'Connor, for repeated injections.
Mr HODGMAN - in particular, the coupes at the Flickity Sticks, Long Shadows and Dam Busters trail traverse and have been removed from the latest plan. In addition, coupe CC123A has been removed, as thinning operations in that coupe have already been completed.
We welcome the fact the Blue Derby trails will host the World Enduro Championships event later on next month. This is proof positive that no matter how much the Greens might like to think our brand could be damaged, this is a great example of our building a sustainable forest industry while supporting the ongoing boom in our visitor economy.