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Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Page: 2979

Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area

(Question No. 453)


Senator Bob Brown asked the Minister representing the Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, upon notice, on 21 March 2011:

With reference to the ongoing removal and salvage of Huon pine logs from the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) in Macquarie Harbour:

(1) Who has been authorised to undertake such salvage since 1989, including: (a) the period of that authorisation; and (b) the exact location.

(2) In each case, what volume of Huon Pine was: (a) retrieved to Strahan; and (b) gathered but left in the TWWHA.

(3) How far up the Gordon River has salvage been authorised and with what promises.

(4) Has an excavator been used during the salvage.

(5) Who is currently permitted to undertake the salvage.

(6) When will this salvage end.

(7) Are branded logs (cut long ago upstream) returned to their owners; if not, why not.


Senator Conroy: The Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan 1999 provides the policy framework and management prescriptions that guide the management of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The plan has been endorsed by the Australian and Tasmanian governments.

The plan provides for the salvage of Huon Pine along selected parts of the shores of Macquarie Harbour, excluding Sarah and Grummet Island and the Gordon River and its banks, in accordance with a heads of agency agreement between the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service and Forestry Tasmania.

A process to review and update the plan commenced in December 2004. The public consultation conducted during the review did not reveal the Huon Pine salvage as an issue of concern. Tasmanian Government officials have raised concerns with salvage in the sensitive Wrights Bay area of Macquarie Harbour. It is proposed that this area be declared off limits in the updated plan.

The detailed questions asked by Senator Brown are best directed to the Tasmanian Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, Hon Brian Wightman MP, as the minister responsible for managing the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

References:

Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan 1999 pp 188-189. The full version of the Plan can be found on the Parks and Wildlife Service website:

http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=673.