Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area will be protected under a new management plan. Earlier this week the Governor of Tasmania approved a new management plan to guide management of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area for at least the next seven years.
The management plan for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area will ensure the natural and cultural heritage values of the property are protected while providing the framework to enable appropriate opportunities to experience this extraordinary world-class reserve, Environment, Parks and Heritage Minister Matthew Groom said today.
Minister Groom said the Tasmanian and Australian Governments had genuinely listened to the views of a wide range of users in finalising the plan. We made further amendments in response to those views.
Minister Groom said the new management plan for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is a contemporary plan.
“This plan reflects our Government’s strong and continuing commitment to protecting the property’s World Heritage values, while at the same time facilitating opportunities for sensitive and appropriate tourism experiences. We make no apology for that.” Minister Groom said.
Minister Groom said one of the most significant enhancements provided for under the new plan is a greater recognition of the Aboriginal cultural values of the area.
“The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area also contains examples of outstanding and exceptional cultural heritage, reflecting the long occupation of the area by Tasmanian Aboriginal people stretching back more than 40,000 years.
“The Tasmanian Government is committed to achieving greater recognition of the extraordinary Aboriginal cultural heritage of the area, including by exploring opportunities for joint governance with Tasmanian Aboriginal people for the management of this area.”
The new plan responds to the 20 recommendations of the 2015 mission and requests of the World Heritage Committee.
“I am satisfied that the new management plan protects and provides people with appropriate opportunities to enjoy and experience this vast and unique place, as is required by the World Heritage Convention,” Minister Groom said.
“The new plan is consistent with Australia’s World Heritage management principles and, importantly, will put in a place a number of management actions to recognise and conserve the property’s natural and cultural heritage as requested by the 2015 mission to the property.”
Minister Groom said the new management plan accepted the UNESCO recommendation that special species timber harvesting should not be allowed anywhere in the World Heritage Area.
“Our position has been consistent all the way through that we would accept the umpire’s decision in relation to harvesting inside the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and that’s exactly what we’ve done to ensure the balance is right” Minister Groom said.
Minister Groom said the Tasmanian Government recognised the value of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area’s natural significance by increasing the area previously zoned as Wilderness by more than 78,000 hectares.
“This means that over 81 per cent of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is within a zone that prohibits built infrastructure and aircraft landings – providing a high level of protection to its rich values.”
Minister Groom said that in addition to protecting the rich natural and cultural heritage values of the area, the plan also recognises the importance of appropriate tourism opportunities in certain areas to enable visitors to enjoy the area’s significance and specifies areas to be given appropriate reserve classification such as regional or conservation reserves.
“Our Government recognises that the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area is an area to be experienced, celebrated and shared with the world.
“The Tasmanian Government supports the sensitive and appropriate use of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area for recreational and tourism purposes, and acknowledges the important role tourism plays in contributing to the economic wellbeing of the Tasmanian community.”
A Tourism Master Plan will be developed in consultation with key stakeholders to guide appropriate and sensitive development in areas outside the Wilderness Zone. All proposals will be subject to strict criteria set out in the plan.