TICT Submission to Upper House Select Committee TFA Bill 2012Tourism Industry Council Tasmania (TICT) welcomes the opportunity to contribute to this important Select Committee review of the Tasmanian Forest Agreement Bill 2012.
Tasmanian tourism operators have a significant interest and stake in Tasmania’s natural landscape resource. Many tourism operators work within or in close proximity to Tasmania’s native forests and are passionate about their future use. Tourism is also one of the few significant industries generating economic activity out of Tasmania’s nature reserve system.
In this context, TICT has maintained an ongoing interest and engagement in the Tasmanian Forest Agreement process since its inception in 2010, around two issues:
- Land tenure, and ensuring ongoing access for current and future recreational and commercial tourism interests to any newly protected reserve areas; and
- Ensuring adequate funding for the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service in the expectation they assume management and responsibility for any newly protected reserve area.
These provisions reflect the exclusive nature of the Tasmanian Forest Agreement process including a small number of vested interests at the exclusion of other industries, user groups and communities with an ongoing interest in these publicly owned lands.
Through this submission TICT is proposing a series of practical and reasonable amendments to the current legislative framework recognising the important and growing role of tourism within newly protected reserve areas, and to provide confidence to our industry that existing access for tourism operators to these State forests will be maintained, this includes:
- Including Tourism activities as a permitted use under Schedule 1 of the purpose of the Act;
- Including tourism activities as a permitted use within new reserve areas;
- Restricting the capacity of the ‘Special Council’ to influence the Protection Order process for newly established reserves.
TICT has proposed specific amendments to the legislation within this submission that we encourage Honourable Members to consider.
We request the Select Committee fully scrutinise the funding provision associated with this agreement to the Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service to enable them to adequately manage new reserve areas without impacting on their existing services.
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