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Locals say Bay of Fires park makes no sense. -

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ELEANOR HALL: Locals have reacted with hostility to the Tasmanian Premier's plan to create a
national park in the Bay of Fires area on the state's east coast. David Bartlett unveiled the park
boundaries several weeks ago.

But locals now say his proposal is irrational because it doesn't contain the most popular coastline
in the area.

Felicity Ogilvie reports from the Bay of Fires coast.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Binnalong Bay contains white sandy beaches, clear tropical-coloured water and
huge grey rocks that are covered in bright orange lichen. This is the spot the Premier, David
Bartlett, chose to announce the boundaries for a new Bay of Fires National Park.

Once you drive out of town - there is about 30 kilometres' worth of coastline and free campsites.
Tourists pull up their caravans or pitch their tents right on top of the dunes that look out over
spectacular scenery.

But this popular stretch of the Bay of Fires coast won't be part of the national park. And local
tourism operators, Aborigines and Green groups say that makes no sense.

VOX POP 1: The Bay of Fires as I said is the connection with the water, that makes it a bay. What
they've nominated here for a national park is the hinterland behind which just seems a little
strange to me.

VOX POP 2: All the tourism reaction is about the coastline.

VOX POP 3: It doesn't actually include most of the Bay of Fires coastal area.

FELICITY OGILVIE: All the groups may say that the Park makes no sense - but that's about all they
agree on.

Todd Dudley heads the local green group - he wants the entire area turned into a national park.

TODD DUDLEY: There needs to be more regulation of the camping areas and making it a national park
along with the other areas all under the one conservation tenure, it makes land management easier
and unfortunately if you promote an area and want more and more people to come there you're going
to have to have some kind of regulation and limits on how many people can camp there at any one
time.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The Premier said he left the popular coastal strip out of the national park so
locals in the small coastal town of Binnalong Bay could still walk their dogs on the beach.

John Lambert lives at Binnalong Bay and he is the president of the Ratepayers Association.

JOHN LAMBERT: I like to walk my dog along the beach, I think my dog likes it probably more than I
do but the fact is I think there's a lot of other people who like to do that as well and I don't
believe that that part can be national park anyway because there's too many houses in the vicinity
and to make it a national park it would just be too awkward.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Mr Lambert takes his dog up to the Jetty where some of his friends are having an
after work drink, they're talking about the proposed national park.

WOMAN 1: Leave it alone.

MAN 1: You get government interference on things, what they consider a national park is. And you
get, you know, plans about this and that and they want to extend things and build things for
different buses and...

MAN 2: Well every national park now has got a resort in it hasn't it so it's not actually being
reserved for anything is it.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Tourists who come to the Bay of Fires camp right on the beach. Many of the
beaches contain Aboriginal midden sites and burial grounds.

Clyde Mansell is the chairman of the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania and he's angry that
tourists are planting their caravans on his cultural heritage.

CLYDE MANSELL: We know that people already have camped on midden sites along the coastline, it's
totally uncontrolled. The damage is immense and if the Government don't do something quickly, then
the whole connection's going to be destroyed.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Mr Mansell says the Aboriginal community wants the area handed back.

CLIVE MANSELL: It's quite ironic that, you know, the name the Bay of Fires stems from the sighting
of all the fires of the traditional people and now what's happening in terms of the Government is
they're just ignoring the Aboriginal community and what we want to achieve here.

FELICITY OGILVIE: The Bay of Fires was just a quiet Tasmanian holiday spot until the Lonely Planet
guidebook named it as the world's 'hottest" destination in 2009.

Since then tourism has been hotting up - much to the delight Peter Paulsen who heads the local
tourism association. Mr Paulsen is less thrilled about the idea of a national park.

PETER PAULSEN: Having a national park in the backyard seemed like an exciting idea until you
actually drill down and look at the detail. And ultimately what we have now is two existing
reserves which have been rebadged as a national park. And I think that's kind of lazy and just
doesn't provide the protection that was promised.

FELICITY OGILVIE: Tasmania is in the middle of a state election campaign and Labor will have to win
back majority government to set up its national park. The Bay of Fires looks like it's becoming a
major election issue.

ELEANOR HALL: Felicity Ogilvie reporting from Tasmania's east coast.