Heap plan looks at planes, cultural “gap” | Liverpool City Champion
Tasmania will examine the use of airplanes in the state’s vast World Heritage wilderness area and seek to engage indigenous peoples more effectively in the future of the region.
The state government has released its long-awaited Tourism Master Plan for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA).
The area covers about a quarter of Apple Island and is considered by the World Heritage Convention to have both natural and cultural heritage of Outstanding Universal Value.
It is one of only two places in the world, along with Mount Taishan in China, which meets seven of the ten criteria for World Heritage listing.
The plan says air traffic is a “significant problem” for parks around the world and, if not managed, can pose risks to a site’s values and visitor experience.
He warns that the prevalence of aircraft could undermine the TWWHA brand and its Outstanding Universal Value.
A project for a helicopter-accessible permanent camp at Lake Malbena, which is currently before federal authorities for approval, has drawn criticism in recent years.
Tasmanian Parks Minister Jacquie Petrusma said an air access policy will be developed to define the appropriate flight frequency, trajectories, routes and no-fly zones.
However, she did not provide any timeline for the policy.
The plan also noted that the history of the Aborigines of Tasmania is a “recognized gap” in the experience of visitors to TWWHA.
“There is a significant lack of opportunities for visitors to engage and learn more about the indigenous cultural values of TWWHA,” it read.
Creating “cultural presentation centers” is one way to showcase Indigenous storytelling, according to the report.
It recommends the establishment of a decision-making protocol on cultural heritage to ensure that indigenous peoples are involved in decision-making.
“We very much want the Tasmanian Aborigines to be involved in decision-making regarding TWWHA,” said Ms. Petrusma.
“We want to make sure that they can take advantage of all tourism or business opportunities, welcome to ceremonies in the country and the dual denomination.”
Tom Allen of the Wilderness Society Tasmania says the plan is “lipstick on the pig to privatize parks” and does not ensure that wilderness values are properly protected.
“If the state government is serious about the island being a global eco-tourism destination, it must stop privatizing national parks,” he said.
“(The government must) start listening to the vast majority of those who oppose it; stop subordinating conservation to tourism and start prioritizing conservation values.”
The master plan was requested in 2015 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
Associated Australian Press