PWS celebrates 50 years

Minister for Parks

PWS celebrates 50 years

19 November 2021

It was my absolute pleasure today to attend the Statewide celebrations to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS).

From humble beginnings in November 1971, the Service has now grown from 59 employees to over 450 employees who are dedicated and committed to delivering a world-class parks service, while preserving and protecting our world-renowned reserve system and our beautiful and glorious natural and cultural values.

50 years on, our dedicated staff and volunteers care for more than 51 per cent of our beautiful island state, including National parks, reserves, marine seascapes, Crown lands and three World Heritage Areas.

The 50th celebrations today were a fantastic occasion for past and present staff and volunteers to get together and celebrate and reflect on the achievements of the Service since these humble beginnings, and to share their thoughts and insights for the next 50 years of the PWS.

It was also an important opportunity to acknowledge and recognise the traditional and original owners and continuing custodians of this land, including reflecting on the return of Aboriginal cultural burning practices in Tasmania’s Parks and reserves, delivered importantly by Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

The achievements of the Service over the last 50 years are a true reflection of the continuing camaraderie and outstanding teamwork of our staff and volunteers.

I’m incredibly proud of what the Service has achieved over the last 50 years, and on behalf of the Tasmanian Government, I thank and congratulate our Parks staff and volunteers who play a vital role each and every day in helping visitors to our Parks recognise, value and enjoy our natural and cultural heritage.

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.

Horsetail Falls Track improvements go ahead on the West Coast

Minister for Parks

Horsetail Falls Track improvements go ahead on the West Coast

23 July 2021

The popular Horsetail Falls Track walk near Queenstown will be extended following the signing of a grant deed between the Tasmanian Government and the West Coast Council.

This $600,000 investment delivers on our election commitment to deliver the second stage of the track to add to the short walk offerings in the area.

Nature-based tourism assets like these ensure we can showcase these beautiful places to visitors and locals alike, and provide a boost to the local economy.

The current 1.2 km track currently takes walkers to a viewing point of the 50-metre waterfall on the lower slopes of Mount Owen, with beautiful mountain views along the way.

The new extension will soon take walkers to a viewing platform on top of the falls offering an exciting and alternative view of the falls.

Importantly, like the current walk, the new walk will be suitable for those with no bushwalking experience to ensure as many people as possible can enjoy the experience.

Our 2021 election commitments build on the existing pipeline of capital works in our National Parks and Reserves, and takes our total investment to over $122 million since 2018.

These investments demonstrate the critical value that we place in our parks and their contribution to the Tasmanian economy and our way of life.

Tasman National Park upgrades improve visitor experience

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Parks

Tasman National Park upgrades improve visitor experience 

5 July 2021

The visitor experience at Tasman National Park has been enhanced with several projects and upgrades now complete, providing a world-class experience at one of the state’s most picturesque tourist destinations. 
 
In response to growing numbers of Tasmanians holidaying at home along with interstate tourists, upgrades to car parking, boat launching facilities, and the viewing platform at Maingon Bay were undertaken.
 
The facilities have been designed to provide visitors with the opportunity to explore the peninsula, while ensuring the natural environment of the National Park is protected for generations to come.
 
Just a short distance from Hobart, we know the Tasman National Park is a popular destination for those wishing to see the spectacular rock formations, to take on the multi-day Three Capes Track or shorter walks to Cape Hauy, Crescent Bay, Mt Brown, Cape Raoul and Shipstern Bluff.
 
The area is also a popular location for boating enthusiasts, which is why we recently upgraded boat and trailer parking at Pirates Bay, along with widening the access road to the boat ramp.
 
Other recent works on the Tasman Peninsula include:

  • Improvements to the staircase to the viewing platform at Remarkable Cave;
  • New walking tracks to Crescent Bay and Mount Brown including a new coastal viewing area at Maingon Blowhole and longer walks to Crescent Bay, Crescent Bay lookout and Mount Brown;
  • The re-development of the Stormlea Road carpark which included 50 additional vehicle spaces, a new toilet block, track head infrastructure and track improvements to both the Shipstern Bluff and Cape Raoul walking tracks; and
  • A new larger capacity carpark at Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen, with a new toilet facility to be completed later this year.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government will also invest in coming years a further $1.5 million into the Tasman National Park to deliver new viewing platforms and lookouts showcasing the Tasman Arch geological features and improved visitor information and accessibility.

Securing the future of our National Parks and reserves

Minister for Parks

Securing the future of our National Parks and reserves

Wednesday, 30 June

The Tasmanian Liberal Government understands that our National Parks and reserves support many tourism and other businesses throughout the state, particularly in our regional areas.

That’s why we laid out a clear plan to build on our successful and strong track record of ensuring that our national parks support our tourism industry and drive our regional economies at the recent 2021 election.

We will invest almost $42 million to future proof our world-renowned National Parks and reserves, through our Parks Powering Regional Economies policy.

This includes:

  • $3 million for the re-development of the Hastings Thermal Pool site;
  • $3 million package of upgrades to the Cockle Creek campgrounds;
  • $1.8 million towards the delivery of a Mt Field National Park Master Plan and a new entry concourse for the National Park;
  • $1.7 million into upgrading day use facilities on Bruny Island, road access and parking at the popular Cape Bruny site in the South Bruny National Park;
  • $600,000 to deliver Stage 2 of the trail to Horsetail Falls at Queenstown which will add to the short walk offerings in this area;
  • $2.75 million for the far North-West, in the Arthur Pieman Conservation Area, to re-develop the ‘Edge of the World’ experience;
  • $14 million in additional funding to fund the development of a new Visitor Gateway at the Freycinet National Park. The Gateway will include a new, modern transport hub with a shuttle bus to the Wineglass Bay car park, and we will also redesign the road to alleviate congestion on Freycinet Drive, and reduce the impact on residents;
  • $6.8 million for Stage 3 of the Maria Island Re-discovered Project, and at the Tasman National Park we will provide $1.5 million to undertake further upgrades of the Remarkable Caves, Tasman Arch and Devils Kitchen site – including the installation of a suspension bridge across the Devils Kitchen chasm;
  • $900,000 investment into a range of Parks assets on Flinders Island to deliver improvements to infrastructure at Trousers Point beach – as well as campsites and RV facilities;
  • $2.8 million to unlock the potential of the Ben Lomond National Park by undertaking crucial planning to guide future development – identifying priority infrastructure crucial in the development of the site, and investing in the highest priority assets;
  • $2.8 million to replace the boardwalk at the much-loved Tamar Island Wetland Centre.

Our 2021 election commitments build on the existing pipeline of capital works in our National Parks and Reserves, and take our total investment to over $122 million since 2018.

These investments demonstrate the critical value that we place in our parks and their contribution to the Tasmanian economy and our way of life.

We will continue to ensure that our special natural places are protected and presented in ways that allow all people to enjoy the natural and cultural values they contain.