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.
The population and range of wild fallow deer in Tasmania is expanding. These feral animals are an increasing risk to some parks and reserves. The Wild Fallow Deer Management Plan must prescribe and provide for the eradication of deer from conservation reserves.
The Trailside Museum at Cradle Mountain, a small historic building located immediately behind the Waldheim carpark was destroyed by fire early on Monday 16 November 2020. Investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing, but it is not considered suspicious and lightning is considered the most likely cause.
With the release of Commonwealth Minister Sussan Ley's ‘Statement of Reasons’, for the first time, an Environment Minister has recognised that the Lake Malbena helicopter-accessed tourist development proposal will significantly and adversely impact threatened species, wilderness character and reduce natural and World Heritage values.
Fire is perhaps the greatest challenge for the management of the TWWHA, particularly in the context of a changing climate. A fire management plan is being prepared. We comment on the the various PWS fire issue discussion papers released in September 2020.
The Report by the Auditor-General into the state government’s EoI process criticises both the EoI process and the Parks and Wildlife Service’s Reserve Activity Assessment (RAA) process, most notably ‘(the) RAA is not geared to deal with more complex proposals received through EoI’.
Good news regarding the proposed helicopter-accessed tourism development at Lake Malbena from the Commonwealth Environment Minister Sussan Ley recently; “I have determined that the likely impacts to the unique values of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area warrant a formal assessment”.
The Tyndall Range was announced as the government’s chosen option for their 'Next Iconic Walk' development in July 2019. We have prepared a background report describing the current state of play.
TWS and TNPA have filed an appeal against the 6 July 2020 decision by Tasmania’s Supreme Court relating to helicopter-accessed visitor accommodation at Lake Malbena. They will be arguing that the Court made a number of legal errors in reaching its decision.