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Getting the Balance Right in the Arthur-Pieman


The Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, Brian Wightman today announced his decision on the future management of 94 recreational tracks in the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area.

Mr Wightman said that he had accepted all of the recommendations in the final Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area Sustainable Recreational Vehicle Access Report, and that changes to the tracks will come into effect on 1 July 2012.

“We have found a balance between recreational vehicle use and the protection of the Arthur-Pieman’s cultural and natural values,” he said.

“Some tracks will be closed, some will have more restricted use and others will remain open to provide recreational access and access to shack communities. A single permit will provide access to all open four-wheel drive tracks.”

Mr Wightman said the reserve contains a rich abundance of Aboriginal heritage which is of great importance to the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.

“We all have a shared responsibility to conserve this remarkable cultural heritage so it is important that access into the future is sustainable,” he said.

“After extensive consultation with the local community and a range of stakeholders, I believe we have made a decision that represents that balance.

“Of the 94 tracks identified in the draft report, 65 were in use at that time. Of those 65, 50 will retain access of one sort or another.”

Mr Wightman praised the involvement of community groups and individuals in the process, particularly the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area Management Committee, which strongly supports most of the report’s final recommendations.

The Parks and Wildlife Service is committed to providing further opportunities for people to participate in managing the Arthur-Pieman and contribute to conservation activities.

Mr Wightman said the report also recommends a variety of works to better protect natural and cultural values and improve the visitor experience. The proposed works include fencing, new signs, relocating and rehabilitating tracks, and protecting Aboriginal sites.

“Acting on these recommendations will build on the work carried out through the State Government’s $2 million Arthur-Pieman Sustainable Access Project,” he said.

“This is not just an investment in protecting the area, but also an investment in improving the experience for Tasmanians and tourists alike, and in encouraging sustainable use of this amazing area into the future,” Mr Wightman said.

Further information is available at http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=26417