Tourism and growing the Tasmanian brand has led to a revitalisation of major Parks infrastructure as well as putting us on track to grow the value of the agriculture sector with our high value produce according to the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment (DPIPWE) annual report released today.
Minister for Environment and Parks, Elise Archer said with a 6 per cent increase in visitor numbers to 1.3 million visits and a significant 20 per cent increase in licenced tourism operators in the State’s parks and reserves, it’s important we are taking steps to ensure they can keep up with demand.
``The Hodgman Liberal Government has responded with a Tourism Infrastructure Funding program which will ultimately deliver 91 statewide new or upgraded infrastructure projects including new visitor facilities at Lake St Clair and Wineglass Bay track carpark and Cape Tourville Road improvements,’’ Ms Archer said.
``The popularity of the Three Capes Track has surpassed expectations, with 11,527 people walking the track in 2016-17 (and a total of 19,000 walkers expected by mid-November plus strong forward bookings through summer) and US trail developer, American Trails, awarding it the International Planning and Design Award earlier this year.’’
She said other notable accomplishments include the finalisation of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) management plan which came into effect in December 2016, the Environment Protection Authority taking responsibility for the environmental regulation of the salmon industry, as well as extensive work to develop the Finfish Farming Environmental Regulation Bill 2017.
Minister for Primary Industries Jeremy Rockliff said this year’s AgriFood Scorecard prepared by the Department’s AgriGrowth team had shown the State was on track to grow the value of our agriculture sector to $10 billion by 2050.
``With the gross value of Tasmania’s agriculture and seafood sectors growing by 5.9 per cent, agriculture has contributed $1.48 billion to the economy, up 3.3 per cent, and seafood has contributed $910 million, up by 10.4 per cent,’’ Mr Rockliff said.
``The department has the lead role in delivering the Government’s Sustainable AgriFood Plan with a range of initiatives spanning agricultural industry development, irrigation and water management, biosecurity, investment attraction, infrastructure, skills, branding, agricultural education, research and development, fisheries and aquaculture.’’
He said the report also highlighted the key role DPIPWE played in responding to the June 2016 flood disaster, through its initial response, crisis management and the continuing recovery efforts.
The Hodgman Government is confident that DPIPWE will continue to meet the needs of our growing primary industry sectors, a pillar of our economy, whilst caring and protecting for our natural environment for visitors and Tasmanians now and into the future.