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Feedback sought on Three Capes Track Proposal

21/11/2011

The Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service is seeking public comment on a draft Development Proposal and Environmental Management Plan (DPEMP) for the Three Capes Track - a five night, hut-based bushwalk in the Tasman National Park.


The Minister for Environment, Parks, and Heritage, Brian Wightman, said the DPEMP has been prepared to support the proposal’s assessment through the PWS’ Reserve Activity Assessment (RAA) process.


Further assessment will occur through the Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.


“The Three Capes Track will deliver an iconic new bushwalking experience that promotes Tasmania as a world-class bushwalking destination,” Mr Wightman said.


“During construction, the track is expected to create up to 50 jobs, and inject more than $8 million into the Tasman Peninsula’s economy.


“Once completed, it’s expected to generate about $20 million a year, and create almost 340 jobs.


“It will help us further diversify our tourism industry, and attract new visitors to see our state’s natural beauty.


The DPEMP is a comprehensive assessment of the environmental, social and economic aspects of the Three Capes proposal.


It’s based on a range of surveys and studies including ecological, cultural and historic heritage surveys, geotechnical and geoheritage assessments, economic analysis and a social impact assessment.


A Phytophtohora cinnamomi Management Plan, Fire Management Strategy, and Emergency Response Plan also form part of the document.


Mr Wightman said planning for the multi-day bushwalk on the Tasman Peninsula is progressing.


The project involves about 60 kilometres of track, including about 40 kilometres of new track and upgrading of the remainder. The boat journey will need jetties or floating pontoons constructed at Safety Cove and Denmans Cove.


Around 85 per cent of track users will be “free and independent” walkers, who will stay in public huts.


The public huts are intended to have the capacity to accommodate 48 walkers and up to four PWS staff. There is also an opportunity for a commercial developer to construct smaller huts with a capacity for 10 walkers and three guides, for guided walkers.


When fully operational, the Three Capes Track will attract up to 10,000 overnight walkers a year.


“The Parks and Wildlife Service hopes to finalise the Reserve Activity Assessment by February 2012,” Mr Wightman said.


“Subject to all appropriate approvals, it’s hoped track and hut construction can then start in the second half of 2012,” he said.


The Three Capes Track DPEMP will be available for community comment for five weeks, from 21 November to 23 December, 2011. Copies of the plan can also be seen at Service Tasmania in Hobart, and the Tasman Council offices at Nubeena.


The plan is available on the Parks and Wildlife Service website: http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/?base=25657


Copies of the plan can also be seen at Service Tasmania in Hobart, and the Tasman Council offices at Nubeena.