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Published on : Saturday, December 26, 2015
The Tasmanian Government is committed to protecting Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) and developing a management plan that is consistent with our international obligations and that achieves balanced outcomes that are genuinely respectful of cultural and natural values, while at the same time recognising that the TWWHA is an area to be used, celebrated and shared with the world.
Over the last 12 months, the Government has been consulting on the development of a new management plan for the TWWHA, in accordance with the statutory process.
The final TWWHA Management Plan will provide strategic planning direction for the TWWHA for the next 10 years.
Representatives of the World Heritage Committee’s technical bodies recently completed their visit to Tasmania to assess the state of conservation of the TWWHA.
The Tasmanian Government welcomed the opportunity to work constructively and co-operatively with the committee representatives and the visit provided an opportunity to show first-hand the efforts being made to responsibly manage the TWWHA.
The technical advisers met Australian and Tasmanian government officials, representatives from Tasmanian Aboriginal communities, non-government organisations, tourism and forestry sectors, researchers and other subject matter experts.
This was a constructive visit and the comments and feedback provided by the advisers will be considered as part of the process of developing a final management plan for the World Heritage Area.
A report by the Director of National Parks and Wildlife, John Whittington is also close to being completed. The report will consider each representation received through the public comment process on the draft TWWHA Management Plan.
The Director’s report, and all representations received, will then be submitted to the Tasmanian Planning Commission (TPC).
The TPC, as an independent statutory body, will review the Director’s report and the representations with reference to the Draft Management Plan before providing a report to the Government detailing the findings of its review.
The National Parks and Reserves Management Act 2002 requires that the Minister determines the final content of the management plan following the TPC review.
In finalising the management plan I will also consider the report of the technical bodies and any outcome from the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee in July 2016.
As a consequence of this timing it is now anticipated that the new TWWHA Management Plan will be finalised in the second half of next year. We will continue to provide further updates on the anticipated timing as further information becomes available.
There has been great interest from the wider public as part of the process to consider a new, contemporary draft management plan for the TWWHA.
It is important that the statutory process is followed rigorously and also that the views of the World Heritage Committee are considered as part of the final determinations.
The new management plan will play a vital role in guiding new tourism ventures and visitor experiences that make use of our world heritage areas.
So far, a number of mainly walking-based tourism experiences have been approved as part of the EOI process. These projects must comply with current and future management plans.
The Tasmanian Government remains focussed on making Tasmania the environmental tourism capital of the world and we are committed to inviting further rounds of EOI applications for our national parks and World Heritage Area once the new TWWHA management plan has been finalised.
The EOI process has been an important initiative of the Government in opening up our natural areas to new sensitive and appropriate tourism experiences. The EOI process is creating job opportunities and economic development in regional and rural areas of Tasmania and it will provide Tasmanians and visitors with a range of amazing experiences that will help Tasmania reach its goal of attracting 1.5 million visitors per year by 2020, creating 8,000 new jobs in the process
Source:- Tourism Tasmania