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Wednesday, 1 September 1993
Page: 706

Mr ADAMS (10.49 p.m.) —I rise tonight to speak on this adjournment debate to raise an issue involving the west of my electorate. The Raglan Range is an area that has been logged since the 1930s and was given World Heritage status several years ago. The Bradshaw family has worked this area for many years, pulling sawlogs and transporting them along the Raglan Range Road to mill them in their mills. When this area achieved World Heritage status several years ago the road was closed off. The road had a gate put across it and it was left for walkers and traditional users. Two months ago the state division of parks, wildlife and heritage decided to rehabilitate the road. This is the essence of my concern tonight.

  The state division of parks, wildlife and heritage took on a value system which I believe has affected us in Tasmania for the past 10 or 15 years. It is of great concern to many of us. Its position is that traditional uses of land and cultural values from our history should be done away with. Areas of land which have been used for logging, hunting and fishing for many years have now been world heritage listed—and so these traditional things can no longer be done.

  If world heritage status is to mean anything, it should also give recognition to the cultural values of areas, not just their scenic or spiritual value—or whatever someone else feels is its value. The value system which has enraged many Tasmanians—probably it is one of the issues on which I was elected to parliament—has been imposed on the Raglan Range Road.

  Two months ago, under the Tasmanian minister, John Cleary, parks and wildlife, as part of the management plan for the area, decided to rehabilitate the road. The road is made of gravel, with drains on each side, and incorporated along the road are several landings for logging trucks to load up. Over time, they have been taken back by the bush. The road gives a view of the history of the area and of the logging people that worked in a very traditional and hard way over many years. Somebody decided that the road could be seen from the Frenchmans Cap national park walking track and had to be removed; it interfered with somebody's values.

  Returning the road to its natural state of prior to the 1930s meant putting some natural cover back on it, at a cost of $20,000. That should not have happened. A heck of a mess has been created along this road, with broken trees and great disruption to the old track. Nothing useful has been achieved. In recent years in Tasmania we have undertaken a forest practices code. I believe that if the people who had imposed this work were subject to that code, they would shortly be going to court.

  I am sure that honourable members would be aware that recent land use arguments between people on the Greens side and those with traditional work values and ways of doing things have taken up a lot of time. Some of the animosity has subsided. I certainly do not wish to revisit the damming of the Franklin or to advocate the pulling of the plug on Lake Pedder. But we must be sensitive to everybody's needs in Tasmania. The west coasters, who have always stood up strongly for their beliefs and traditions, are finding the attitude being applied totally indefensible. The state government spent another $20,000 just down the road at Nelson Falls to create a track into the wilderness area so that somebody could have a natural walking track, when Raglan Range Road could have been used. (Time expired)