Cradle Mountain still needs protection a century after reservation

The Tasmanian National Parks Association (TNPA) is calling for the area around Cradle Mountain to be protected from over-development including an intrusive cable car, a century after the area was reserved on 16 May 1922 to protect its scenery.

Over a century ago, Gustav Weindorfer recommended reserving the area around Cradle Mountain. He is widely quoted as saying “This must be a National Park for the people for all time. It is magnificent and the people must know about it and enjoy it”.

TNPA President Nick Sawyer said “People come to the area to enjoy its magnificent nature, not to ride in a theme-park cable car”.

“Surveys show that the vast majority of visitors to Cradle are very satisfied with the existing shuttle bus service. Nationwide, the vast majority of Australians see national parks as places to protect nature, protect wilderness, and for the low-key appreciation of nature. A major selling point for Tasmanian tourism is the outstanding opportunities to experience wild nature in our national parks. We should be protecting this crucial point of difference, not diminishing it by building more infrastructure to cram ever- increasing numbers of visitors into sensitive areas like Dove Lake”, said Mr Sawyer.

“The cable car is just another scheme to develop the reserve that history will show to be ill-conceived”, said Mr Sawyer. “It joins a long list of schemes over the past century that later generations are thankful did not proceed, such as one in the 1920s to introduce deer, proposals from the 1930s to the 1950s to build a road from Cradle Mountain to Lake St Clair, and a proposal in the 1940s to build a hotel near Lake Lilla just below Cradle Mountain.”

Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair, part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, remains one of the world’s great national parks precisely because it remains largely undeveloped; its wildness is still apparent, even to casual visitors.

“It would be a tragedy if we allow the centenary to mark the beginning of the end for this wildness” said Nick Sawyer.

Further information:

Contact: Nick Sawyer (President, TNPA): 0414 718 831

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