A draft decision
for consideration by the World Heritage Committee at its July
meeting has been released by the UN, with its associated expert
report raising concerns about some provisions of the of Tasmanian
Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) Management Plan.
Specifically the report identifies the secret zoning switch in the
Management Plan that paves the way for private commercial
developments and a degradation of wilderness values, like the
controversial Lake Malbena hut and buildings in the Walls of
Jerusalem National Park.
The report also criticises the governments progress in
developing a Tourism Master Plana document requested in 2015 that
should serve to refine the balance between conservation and
tourism. Despite the failure to progress this Plan, controversial
project approvals and taxpayer handoutssuch as for the South Coast
The UN again highlights government failure of process and
identifies the impacts of tourism/visitation/recreation as a factor
affecting Tasmanias World Heritage Area, said Vica Bayley,
spokesperson for the Wilderness Society.
The secret switch of wilderness zone for something lesser, to
specifically allow for private commercial developments that will
degrade wilderness values and would otherwise be prohibited, has
raised the concern of the World Heritage Committees expert
Its important to note, this secret zoning switch hasnt just
happened at Lake Malbena in the Walls of Jerusalem National Park;
its repeated along the Overland Track where new huts are proposed
and at Lake Rodway near Cradle Mountain, to clear the way for a
private commercial lodge."
With regard to the Tourism Master Plan, the conclusions of the
experts states, it is of concern that this key strategic document
Mr Bayley said, in the absence of the Tourism Master Plan,
development approvals like Lake Malbena and taxpayer handouts such
as that for the South Coast Track huts continue, pre-empting the
plan and raising concerns about the protection of World Heritage
This is absurd and logically, all assessments and taxpayer
grants should stop until that Tourism Master Plan is completed.
The draft decision also calls on government to speed up the
designation of over 20,000 hectares of World Heritage-listed
forests as reserves under Tasmanias Na...