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Thursday, 19 August 1993
Page: 349


Senator DEVEREUX (4.05 p.m.) —I rise to make a few brief remarks in relation to the interim response of the government to the report by the Standing Committee on the Environment, Recreation and the Arts on the Australian environment and tourism.

  The committee's report was tabled on 7 October 1992 and the government's response is now well and truly overdue. The interim response tabled today promises a full government response during the current budget session. My committee looks forward to the government's long overdue response to the recommendations on a number of important issues. In particular, the committee in its report endorsed the Australian Tourism Industry Association environmental guidelines for tourist development. It recommended:

That draft environmental guidelines for tourism developments be finalised by the Environment Protection Agency by the end of 1992 for ratification at the earliest possible date under the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Environment.

The committee was recently told that in my own state of Tasmania areas verging on World Heritage and/or wilderness areas are coming under intense pressure from tourism development. The committee has also been told recently that areas in close proximity to World Heritage and/or wilderness areas in other states and territories are coming under similar pressure from tourism development. The Kimberley area and Shark Bay World Heritage area in Western Australia have been mentioned to the committee specifically in this context. I expect the government's response will address this issue together with the committee's other recommendations.