Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard   

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Monday, 4 May 1987
Page: 2258

Senator SANDERS(8.41) —I move:

That the Senate take note of the paper.

The second meeting of the Tasmanian World Heritage Area Council was held a year after the first meeting. I wonder why we are getting these summary records so far down the line.

Senator Tate —It gives you an extra five minutes too.

Senator SANDERS —Yes, it does; I appreciate that. The meeting was held in Launceston, the northern city of Tasmania, on 18 April 1986. The paper notes on the first page:

The Council expressed its regret over the death of one of the members of the Consultative Committee, Dr Richard Jones, and paid tribute to his contribution to the Committee during the short time it had been operating.

Dr Richard Jones was a mainstay of the conservation movement in Tasmania and, indeed, in Australia for many years. His untimely death was brought about by an accident at his home. He was instrumental in the fight to try to preserve something that was valuable to the people of Australia and, in fact, to the people of the world-the Tasmanian wilderness-and he will be sadly missed. All of us join with the report in expressing regret at his passing.

The paper lists the operation of the committee and, on page 7, it tells specifically of the funding requests. It turns out that Tasmania has come up with a funding request for $37m for management of the world heritage area. That would be all right if the Tasmanian Government simply wanted to manage the area, but it wants to build a series of hotels. Furthermore, it will give the money to private enterprise to build the hotels. The hotels will be not only at Warners landing, which is near the dam site itself, but also at places such as Port Davey, Bathurst Harbour and Cockle Creek. Unfortunately, the Gray Government still has not learnt the lesson of the Franklin Dam episode, and the lesson is that people want wilderness. The wilderness deserves to exist. The wilderness itself is a tourist attraction. If a hotel is built in the middle of a wilderness, the area no longer remains a wilderness. Those honourable senators who have travelled to Tasmania recently may have seen the most recent hotel that the Gray Government has pushed through on its fast track legislation. It is a monstrosity of pink and yellow bricks on the waterfront which has stunned even the city council and the Hobart Mercury into action. Such a development in the south-west would sound the death-knell for not only the wilderness but also tourism.

Robin Gray and his band of little corporate vandals still have not learnt the lesson of the future of Tasmania. The future of Tasmania is not in hotels, casinos or the energy intensive industries which now exist and which burn hydro-electric power; it is in the wilderness, the south-west, the world heritage area. That is perceived by the Federal Government. It is high time the State Government either decided to protect the south-west and maintain heritage or let the Federal Government take over, because it is obvious that the State Government cannot manage the area satisfactorily.

Question resolved in the affirmative.