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Friday, 22 February 1985
Page: 84

Senator COATES —My question, which is to the Minister representing the Minister for Arts, Heritage and Environment, is about the management of South West Tasmania. Can the Minister understand the naturally amazed reaction of many people to the announcement that the Premier of Tasmania, Mr Gray, is to chair the ministerial council for the western Tasmania world heritage area, especially as Mr Gray was so intransigent in regard to the area's very existence and continues to have no commitment to the values which led this Government to act to protect the area? Will she explain to concerned people why it was necessary for the management arrangements to be made in this way? For instance, why is there not a statutory authority? Can the Minister assure me that the advice of experts in wilderness management will be effective in protecting the area and will not be continually subject to the effective veto of the present Tasmanian Government?

Senator RYAN —I have some information available covering this topic. The model for the joint management arrangements for the Tasmanian world heritage area was the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and that model has proved very successful for more than five years. I gather that was the main reason for that model being used. Following that model a ministerial council has been established and Tasmania has followed Queensland's example by appointing the Premier as one of the State representatives on the council. I think the answer to that part of Senator Coates's question concerning the appointment of Mr Gray, the Tasmanian Premier, to the council is that the Government decided to follow the Great Barrier Reef model in every detail, including having the Premier a member of the council.