Released in 2016, the Cradle Mountain Visitor Experience Master Plan is better characterised as an ambit claim from the tourism industry but is still driving development at Cradle despite some glaring inadequacies.
The proposal is totally inappropriate in an area where the provision of recreational and tourism uses and opportunities is expected to be ‘consistent the preservation or protection of the natural beauty of the land or of any features of the land of natural beauty or scenic interest’.
The long-awaited Tourism Master Plan for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area was released on 1st June 2021. While some content is better than expected, it is not a statutory document and can only provide context and guidance on how the Management Plan should be interpreted and applied.
A nationwide opinion poll has found 90 per cent of Australians support the protection of Australia’s wilderness areas. Support is high across the political spectrum, with 86 per cent of Coalition voters, 92 per cent of Labor voters and 94 per cent of Greens voters agreeing wilderness should be protected.
The review of the Maria Island National Park management plan has finally commenced. Visitor numbers have been rising rapidly and further increases are anticipated, but it seems no consideration is being given to limiting visitor numbers.
A State Government reservation process is an opportunity to create Kooparoona Niara (Great Western Tiers) National Park. The new National Park is a perfect step to realise State Government's aim for Tasmania to be global eco-tourism destination of choice.
A review of the tenure of all land other than national parks within the TWWHA is long overdue. National park should be the default tenure for a World Heritage Area.
Tourism-related issues are again discussed in this issue, specifically the opportunity presented by the COVID-19 shutdown to do things differently in future. There is also discussion of issues relevant to the forthcoming TWWHA fire management plan. Reviews of two new books also feature.
A Biosecurity Strategy for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is under development. We hope that it will direct some much needed attention and resources onto biosecurity, which has been seriously neglected in recent years.