The Hodgman Liberal Government is delivering on its promise to transform Tasmania into the environmental tourism capital of the world.
I am pleased to announce that I have accepted a recommendation of the EOI Assessment Panel that the Gordon River Light House project proceed to the lease and licence stage.
This is the final step to be completed before the project can officially commence operation.
This is an exciting proposal to develop a pioneering Gordon River eco-tourism experience, where visitors have the option of accommodation and light adventure activities on the river and the opportunity to be "immersed" in an all-encompassing wilderness experience. To achieve this, World Heritage Cruises will build "The Lighthouse"; a 45m, purpose built, ultra-low wake, electrically driven, self-contained, steel and glass vessel to operate on the lower Gordon River. The vessel will have on board accommodation, a restaurant, interpretation facilities and will offer guided kayaking, bird watching and photography opportunities.
I congratulate Troy and Guy Grining for bringing forward this fantastic proposal. It highlights the ingenuity and creativity in the Tasmanian community to share and showcase Tasmania’s environment in a sensitive, sensible and sustainable way.
We need to increase and broaden the range of visitor experiences in Tasmania if we are to capitalise on the Tasmanian tourism boom and this project will certainly do just that.
We want to give more Tasmanians and visitors the opportunity to experience our unique, world class wilderness areas and that’s why we have a plan for sensitive and appropriate tourism offerings in our National Parks and the World Heritage Area that are genuinely respectful of the natural and cultural values of those areas.
We have a goal to attract 1.5 million visitors a year by 2020 to drive economic growth and create jobs for Tasmanians and we are already seeing the positive results, with visitor numbers going from strength to strength, national awards for our tourism operators and 7, 200 jobs created since the election.