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Tuesday, 15 October 2002
Page: 5223


Senator Brown asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, upon notice, on 29 August 2002:

With reference to Forestry Tasmania's proposed tourist operation at Dismal Swamp: What will be the impact on: (a) the adjacent Dismal Swamp Reserve, managed by the Parks and Wildlife Service; (b) the Dismal Swamp Forest Reserve; (c) the National Estate; (d) the World Heritage significance of the polje (karst landform); (e) the ecosystem as a wetland; (f) the adapted flora and fauna (including invertebrates both above and below the surface); (g) the karst system and sinkholes; and (h) the underground aquifers.


Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The Minister for the Environment and Heritage has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The proposed tourist operation at Dismal Swamp referred to in the question will only require Commonwealth environmental approval if it will, or is likely to have, a significant impact on a matter of national environmental significance under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The proposal has not been referred to me, as Minister for the Environment and Heritage, under the EPBC Act.

I am advised that a development proposal at Dismal Swamp was referred to the Australian Heritage Commission for advice under the Australian Heritage Commission Act 1975 in 1999. The proposal to which the question refers has not been referred to the Australian Heritage Commission for advice.

I am therefore not in a position to respond to the question.