Feedback sought on fire management planning for the TWWHA

Minister for Parks

Feedback sought on fire management planning for the TWWHA

9 September 2021

The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) is releasing the draft Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) Fire Management Plan for public comment.

A comprehensive Fire Management Plan is vitally important for the TWWHA in order to protect its Outstanding Universal Values as well as critical State infrastructure.

We recognise that the TWWHA covers nearly a quarter of the Tasmanian land mass and has many areas of fire-sensitive, high value, natural and cultural assets which are irreplaceable if impacted by bushfire.

The TWWHA Fire Management Plan seeks to minimise the risk of destructive bushfires as well as providing a contemporary planned burning program to maintain fire-dependent ecosystems.

The Plan also recognises the role of past Aboriginal burning practices in shaping the cultural landscape of the TWWHA, and the contemporary role of planned fire regimes in maintaining these practices.

One of the objectives of the fire management program for the TWWHA focuses on the suppression of bushfires that pose a threat to public safety and other values located inside the TWWHA or on adjoining lands.

The draft Fire Management Plan for the TWWHA is shaped by community consultation following the release of an issues paper last year.

The 44th World Heritage Committee report, handed down in June 2021, welcomed the Tasmanian Government’s commitment to developing a comprehensive Fire Management Plan.

This consultation phase that begins today is the next key step in delivering on that commitment.

To view the draft Plan visit the PWS website at www.parks.tas.gov.au

Protecting the Outstanding Universal Value of the TWWHA

Minister for Parks

Protecting the Outstanding Universal Value of the TWWHA

9 September 2021

The Tasmanian Liberal Government remains committed to the effective management and protection of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA), which is recognised through the World Heritage Convention as having both cultural and natural heritage of Outstanding Universal Value (OUV). 

It is my pleasure to announce two important initiatives that the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment will be releasing to assist in delivering protection of the Outstanding Universal Value of the TWWHA.

The initiatives are:

  • TWWHA Natural Values Climate Change Adaptation Strategy: 2021 – 2031; and
  • TWWHA Biosecurity Strategy: 2021- 2031

The Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) has finalised the Natural Values Climate Change Adaptation Strategy which aims to manage risk by planning for the potential impact of heatwaves, seasonality of weather variables, coastal erosion and extreme weather events.

In addition to the Natural Values Climate Change Adaptation Strategy, I am also pleased to announce the Government’s delivery of a biosecurity strategy to protect the TWWHA by reducing the risk of invasive organisms.

The PWS TWWHA Biosecurity Strategy 2021-2031 identifies seven goals to address biosecurity risks within the TWWHA. This Strategy aims to minimise these risks through effective leadership, planning, communication, documentation, training, education, research, compliance, co-ordination, and emergency response.

These initiatives are designed to accompany the TWWHA Management Plan to support and guide the management of the TWWHA.

These two strategies are now available to view on the DPIPWE website, and I would like to thank all those who have provided expertise and insights during the stakeholder engagement and public consultation processes.

Securing the future of our parks

Minister for Parks

Securing the future of our parks

9 September 2021

I am pleased to announce that the Tasmanian Liberal Government will draft amendments to the National Parks and Reserves Management Act 2002 to reform the Reserve Activity Assessment (RAA) system, formalising the process and providing greater transparency.
 
The RAA process was implemented in 2005 and is used to assess the potential environmental impacts of a proposed use or development, and to identify necessary actions to manage the impacts on land managed by the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS).
 
The RAA process is underpinned by an extensive policy-based framework, has provided for the appropriate management of activities and their impacts on reserved land since its inception, and has been validated by the Auditor General.
 
The PWS recently undertook a review of the RAA system, with the review recommendations being implemented and already making significant improvements to the RAA process.

While the RAA is underpinned by an extensive policy-based framework, it is not however a legislative requirement of the National Parks and Reserves Management Act.

As the Government wants to ensure greater transparency and continuous improvement across our programs and services,  the Government will commence the process of drafting amendments to the RAA which will include the following amendments:

  • Mandating elements of the RAA process for major uses and developments;
  • Establishment of an independent assessment panel to assess and review significant proposals against the relevant Management Plan;
  • Provision for third party appeals and cost recovery for RAA assessments; and
  • Publication of leases and licences over Reserved land.

The aim of these reforms will be to deliver a dedicated statutory environmental impact and planning assessment process within the framework of the National Parks and Reserves Management Act and to remove duplication in LUPAA.

These reforms will be robust and give the community full confidence in the decision making around reserved land once implemented.

In the interim, the recruitment of six new assessment officers is underway – two in each region, to enable RAA applications to be assessed within reasonable timeframes. Five of these six positions have already been filled and will ensure that use and developments are undertaken sustainably and in consideration of mitigating impacts to natural and cultural values.

The Government is dedicated to continuing this journey of improvement through increased transparency and a more robust process, and these important reforms will deliver on that commitment.