The Hodgman Liberal Government is continuing to unlock new opportunities for sensitive and appropriate tourism developments in our stunning natural areas.
I am pleased to announce two new projects from award-winning local tourism operator Ian Johnstone have progressed to lease and licence negotiations under our Tourism Opportunities in National Parks, Reserves and Crown Land process.
A new iconic walking experience in the Southwest National Park has been proposed that will see small groups of visitors fly to Melaleuca and walk the South Coast Track over seven days.
Six huts will be built along the 86km track that are designed to be environmentally sensitive, with a minimal footprint to ensure other park users will not be aware of their presence.
If approved, the walk will complement Mr Johnstone’s proposal for an overnight guided walk to the South East Cape that is also currently progressing through lease and licence negotiations.
Both proposals are consistent with the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan and will need to obtain all relevant Commonwealth and statutory approvals before progressing.
The second project is an overnight experience on Maria Island that will deliver a new overnight visitor journey focusing on the island’s abundant wildlife and multi-layered history. It would also showcase Tasmania’s wonderful food and wine offerings.
The experience will be based around the World Heritage listed Darlington precinct and will involve the sensitive rebuilding of the historic Adkins House as an overnight accommodation base for guests.
It’s yet another example of how the Government is delivering jobs and an economic boost to our regions while preserving our wonderful natural areas for future generations.
Importantly, projects like this are only possible under a majority Hodgman Liberal Government. If Labor are elected in minority, they will bow to the Greens’ wishes and ban investment in our natural areas, despite the positive impact on jobs and local businesses that these proposals will have across the State.
The contrast couldn’t be clearer. We have a goal to increase visitor overnight stays in regional areas by 70 per cent by 2022 and these projects, pending approval, will entice tourists to stay longer in these areas while supporting jobs and providing a welcome economic boost to local businesses.