TWWHA Status and Trends reports now online

Minister for Parks

TWWHA Status and Trends reports now online

15 June 2022

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is ensuring that our special natural places are protected and presented in ways that allow people of all abilities to enjoy the natural and cultural values they contain.
 
We know that the ecosystems within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) are of outstanding significance for their exceptional natural beauty, distinctive landforms, paleo-endemic species and plant communities, and having ecological processes that result in some of the tallest vegetation in the world.

The statutory TWWHA Management Plan (2016) remains key to specifying how the Outstanding Universal Value of the property is preserved and managed to promote protection of the property for future generations.

The delivery of Status and Trends reports are identified as an action under the Management Plan, so I am pleased to advise today that this important suite of reports that will inform adaptive management within the TWWHA are now available online including:

  • Status and Trends in the Condition of the Natural Values of the TWWHA;
  • Status and Trends in the Condition of the Cultural Values of the TWWHA; and
  • Summary Status and Trends in the Condition of Cultural and Natural Values of the TWWHA.

These important Status and Trends reports will assist the Tasmanian Government in making priority policy decisions on adaptive management within the TWWHA both now and into the future.

This will be the first time that such a wealth of information on the values of the property have been compiled for publication.

The TWWHA makes up almost one quarter of Tasmania, and this important body of work is in addition to the TWWHA Natural Values Climate Change and Adaptation Strategy 2021-2031; the TWWHA Biosecurity Strategy 2021 – 2031; and the TWWHA Fire Management Plan, which all assist in helping to protect this precious landscape for Tasmanians and visitors to enjoy for generations.

The Status and Trends reports are available now on the Department of Natural Resources and Environment’s website.

Aboriginal cultural burning in Tasmania

Minister for Parks

Aboriginal cultural burning in Tasmania

9 June 2022

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is providing $1.3 million in the 2022-23 Tasmanian Budget for Aboriginal cultural burning in Tasmania to support joint land management outcomes between the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) and Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

The funding provided will enable the PWS to employ Aboriginal Engagement Officers to ensure the success of the cultural burning program, support engagement activities between the PWS, Tasmanian Aboriginal people and organisations, and identify areas that are suitable for cultural burning.

Aboriginal cultural burning practices have been undertaken for tens of thousands of years and have helped shape the Tasmanian landscape we know today.

Importantly, this Government recognises that Aboriginal cultural burning in Tasmania is only undertaken by Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

This is because of the deep, ongoing connection that Tasmanian Aboriginal people have with their land, including sophisticated land management practices such as cool burning, and the important part this has played in Tasmania’s culture and history.

We want to draw on the deep connection Tasmanian Aboriginals have with this land and to share in their knowledge of cultural burning practices to help reduce the impact of wildfires, and also deliver ecological benefits for Tasmania’s landscapes, including fauna and flora.

These important engagement activities will be supported by the Cultural Burning Policy and procedures, which is being undertaken in consultation with PWS Aboriginal staff and Tasmanian Aboriginal people, and will support Aboriginal community controlled organisations to undertake cultural burning activities.

This important body of work is currently out for consultation with input sought from Tasmanian Aboriginal people and organisations prior to the PWS undertaking consultation with other stakeholders.

The pilot program in 2021 also included a Cultural Burning Grants Program with grants provided to undertake cultural burns, purchase equipment, travel to burn locations, and attend Firestick Alliance training.

I am very pleased to announce that the grants program will continue with the PWS currently undertaking a review of last year’s program to inform the future structure of the program.

I am also pleased to announce that the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Fire Management Plan has been finalised. The Plan outlines the adaptive management framework that will be utilised to modify fuel characteristics and behaviour, and to protect fire-sensitive natural and cultural historical assets that form an important part of our cultural landscape.

Protecting the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area through the TWWHA Biosecurity Strategy

Minister for Parks

Protecting the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area through the TWWHA Biosecurity Strategy

8 June 2022

The Tasmanian Government is committed to protecting, promoting and managing Tasmania’s world-renowned parks and reserve system, which includes responding to the threat of invasive weeds, animals and diseases.

As a key outcome of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) Management Plan 2016, the TWWHA Biosecurity Strategy 2021-2031 has been developed to respond to the threat of invasive weeds, animals and diseases.

The Tasmanian Budget 2022-23 includes funding of $3.27 million over the next four years, with $870,000 for this year to implement the TWWHA Biosecurity Strategy.

The purpose of the Strategy is to guide management activities and decision making to minimise the impacts of invasive organisms on the natural and cultural values of the TWWHA.

The TWWHA covers almost a quarter of the land area of Tasmania and is recognised as possessing Outstanding Universal Value under UNESCO’S World Heritage Convention.

The Strategy identifies seven goals to address biosecurity risks in the TWWHA and provides a framework covering aspects such as leadership, planning, communication, documentation, training, education, research, compliance, coordination, and emergency response.

The Strategy was developed following an extensive risk assessment which considered natural events, and management and recreational activities that occur in and around the TWWHA which could spread or introduce invasive organisms.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government is delivering on the TWHHA Biosecurity Strategy to strengthen Tasmania’s future. 

Expanding Mole Creek Karst National Park

Minister for Parks

Expanding Mole Creek Karst National Park

2 June 2022

It was my pleasure today to table in Parliament the statutory rules to expand the Mole Creek Karst National Park.

The media release from Dr Shane Broad MP accusing the Government of locking up more land, demonstrates that Dr. Broad does not understand the history of his own party or understand his portfolio of resources.

All of this land was already in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA), ultimately as a result of extensions to the TWWHA that happened as a result of the Labor-Green Tasmanian Forests Agreement and was therefore not available for harvesting.

Dr. Broad has been offered a briefing, and I would encourage him to take up this invitation so that he can understand what was agreed to under the former Labor-Green Government.

This Government is delivering on our commitment to reserve this land within the TWWHA, which will see the beautiful Mole Creek Karst National Park expanded through the reservation of an additional 2,850 hectares of land, which again, is already in the TWWHA.

As well, the 22,550 hectares of land in the TWWHA referenced by Dr Broad, will now be formally reserved as either conservation area, or regional reserve in accordance with the assessment of their natural values.

This process has involved significant public announcements, consultation, natural values assessments and a substantial body of work by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania over many years. The Tasmanian Liberal Government will continue to ensure that our special natural places are protected and presented in ways that allow people of all abilities to enjoy the natural and cultural values they contain.

Community feedback sought on Lower Gordon River Recreation Zone Plan

Minister for Parks

Community feedback sought on Lower Gordon River Recreation Zone Plan

4 February 2022

The draft Recreation Zone Plan for the lower Gordon River has been released with Tasmanians encouraged to have their say on the future management of the river.

The Gordon River is truly one of Tasmania’s iconic experiences, with more than 100,000 visitors cruising each year amidst the wilderness to admire the ancient Huon pines and reflections of nature in tannin rich waters.

The Plan aims to provide sustainable visitor experiences while protecting the natural and cultural values of one of the most visited locations in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

The draft plan has been informed by public input on the Background Report which was released as a knowledge base for stakeholders.

Key issues addressed in the plan include ensuring visitation by motorised vessels is consistent with the protection of the river’s fragile banks, while also maintaining a quality wilderness experience.

Work has been undertaken over recent years to preserve the area, including a substantial upgrade to Heritage Landing in 2016-17.

This includes 800 hours of volunteer labour to restore the historic hut at Sir John Falls, which is one of the only remaining physical reminders of the battle to save the Franklin.

The feedback period closes on 21 March 2022 and to have your say please visit: https://parks.tas.gov.au/be-involved/have-your-say

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.

Bushfire recovery supporting local jobs

Minister for Parks

Bushfire recovery supporting local jobs

28 October 2021

Following the devastating 2018-19 summer bushfires, infrastructure recovery works undertaken by the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service funded by the Tasmanian and Australian Governments have been a key economic driver across a range of sectors in regional and remote areas including construction, transport, retail and have supported an estimated 39 full-time jobs.

The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service identified the need to rebuild and repair over 117 kilometres of walking tracks, 119 kilometres of roads, many bridges and other assets which had been damaged or destroyed during the bushfires.

Jointly funded by the Tasmanian and the Federal Government’s Community Recovery Fund, this $8.3 million reconstruction program has worked with 24 Tasmanian businesses who supplied materials including treated timber, metal plates, chicken wire, bugle screws, gravel, fibre-reinforced polymer sheeting and tent platforms.

I’d also like to acknowledge the PWS employees and transport operators who have been a critical link in our supply chain, ensuring the delivery of these materials to the remote track work teams in the TWWHA in Tassie’s infamous “four seasons in one day” weather.

This includes delivering over 5000 metres of timber planking, 20 bridges, and approximately 4000 steps and 400 water bars to the three teams completing the rebuild of the Lake Judd and Mt Anne tracks.

In the two years since the bushfires, a number of iconic tracks in the fire affected areas have already reopened including Lake Rhona and Farmhouse Creek, with the much anticipated Mt Anne Circuit due to reopen soon.

The Eastern Arthur Range Traverse – between Hanging Lake and Cracroft Plains – and the Western Arthur Range Traverse north/east of West Portal are undergoing critical works, and are expected to reopen in autumn next year.

The Tasmanian Liberal Government’s investment in restoring the infrastructure of some of our most iconic remote area bushwalks following these devastating bushfires is a clear demonstration of our support for our regional communities, local businesses and local jobs.

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

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.

Feedback sought on Cockle Creek campground upgrades

Jacquie Petrusma, Minister for Parks

Feedback sought on Cockle Creek campground upgrades

14 August 2021

Tasmanians are encouraged to provide feedback on the proposed upgrades to the Catamaran and Ramsgate campgrounds at Cockle Creek in the Southwest National Park as part of a $3 million project from the Tasmanian Liberal Government’s ‘Parks Powering Regional Economies’ election commitment.

We know that visitors love camping at Cockle Creek due to its tranquil coves, sandy beaches and distant mountain peaks. These plans will ensure the campgrounds are maintained and preserved for generations to come.

These commitments support the sustainable management of the precinct’s cultural values, as well as tourism and recreational experiences at the southern-most gateway to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) and the Southwest National Park.

Consultation on the proposed upgrades include:

  • Managing the campground and day use areas more sustainably to protect the natural and cultural values;
  • Relocating the roads behind the camping areas to increase the overall amenity and reduce the safety risk issues of crossing roads to reach the foreshore;
  • Minimising vehicle entry points, internal vehicle access tracks and parking to improve safety and to maximise camping space; and
  • Providing for a better mix of camping style opportunities to cater for differing needs.

Other proposed projects at the site include upgraded toilets along with improved drainage and access to boat ramps and boat launching sites.

The Cockle Creek Precinct Site Plan  was released for public comment in September 2018, with Stage One delivering a new gateway shelter, increased car parking and upgraded toilets, completed in 2020.

To view the draft plans and provide feedback on this stage of the Cockle Creek Campground Upgrades Project, visit the PWS website at www.parks.tas.gov.au.

The feedback period closes on Monday 13 September.