PFAS Blood Testing Program announced for Tasmania Fire Service

Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Management

PFAS Blood Testing Program announced for Tasmania Fire Service

16 October 2021

The Tasmanian Government welcomes the announcement of the Chief Officer, that the Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) will initiate a voluntary PFAS Blood Testing Program.

The TFS will develop an implementation plan for the Blood Testing Program which will be led by the Deputy Chief Officer.

The implementation plan will be developed in conjunction with staff and volunteer representative groups, including unions and volunteer associations.

The management of PFAS is a priority for the Tasmanian Government, and while we recognise that the current national health advice is that PFAS blood tests have no diagnostic or prognostic value, we know that our firefighters want to have the option of blood testing to understand the levels of PFAS in their blood.

Implementing blood testing is another measure to prioritise the health, well-being, and safety of our firefighters. Importantly, the Government has already transitioned away from the use of PFAS foams and, together with the TFS, we’ll continue to work with environmental consultants who provide expert advice, undertake ongoing testing and determine remediation strategies.

Search is on for new Tasmanian Wilderness Rangers

Minister for Parks

Search is on for new Tasmanian Wilderness Rangers

16 October 2021

The Tasmanian Government is looking for new Wilderness Rangers to help protect our National Parks and improve the visitor experience for walkers.

A recruitment campaign is underway by the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service to employ rangers who will provide education and advice to walkers on some of our State’s most remote multi-day walks within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area this summer.

The Wilderness Rangers, previously known as Track Rangers, will play an important role in keeping the walking community safe as well as enriching the overall visitor experience.

The rangers will be based in remote locations throughout the TWWHA, including Lake Rhona and the Walls of Jerusalem, along with soon-to-be-reopened overnight walking tracks at Mt Anne Circuit, Eastern Arthurs, and Western Arthurs.

The Wilderness Ranger program has been expanded this year to enhance walker safety and knowledge, particularly around Leave No Trace principles.

Additionally, the rangers will share the natural and cultural heritage values of these irreplaceable wilderness areas with walkers.

They will also help visitors understand why a voluntary overnight walker registration system is now in place to protect these fragile remote bushwalking environments.

The rangers will be deployed on more walks and for longer during the peak walking season to ensure full coverage on these remote walks.

In recent years, rangers have identified that some walkers are unaware of Leave No Trace principles, which can lead to impacts on vegetation, new campsites being formed, trail braiding (which creates a path next to a designated trail due to people walking off track) and inappropriate toileting.

With unprecedented demand for Tasmania’s National Parks and Reserves, even during COVID-19, the team of Wilderness Rangers will be out in the field and ready to greet and assist walkers during the peak walking season from December 2021 to April 2022.

More information about the Wilderness Ranger program can be found online at: www.jobs.tas.gov.au