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Horsetail Falls walk now open


Visitors to the West Coast are in for some spectacular views on the new Horsetail Falls walk near Queenstown.More

Bruny Island Neck lookout re-opens


The walkways and lookout at the Bruny Island Neck will re-open to the public today, following the completion of a new, larger car park that will provide improved access to the popular lookout.More

Maintaining vigilance with campfires


Parks and Wildlife Service staff have thanked the many campers who have heeded the restrictions placed on campfires and pot fires, but ask that park and reserve visitors continue to take care while the fire risk remains high in certain areas of the State.More

TasRail and Parks helping to look after little penguins


The safety of little penguins on the north-west coast is at the forefront of a major project to replace railway sleepers, thanks to the development of a good working relationship between TasRail and the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS).

PWS parks and reserves manager Tina Alderson said the welfare of coastal penguins was highlighted last year when PWS staff provided advice to TasRail staff about penguins after a derailment on the coast near the town of Penguin.

"This has since grown into a strong working relationship with TasRail showing genuine interest in the welfare of little penguins," Ms Alderson said.

"Since the derailment ,TasRail has sought and taken on board advice about how to install penguin barriers on drains underneath the railway to stop penguins going through them and onto the nearby roads. Now, with a major sleeper replacement program about to start from Burnie to Hobart, TasRail has once again sought our advice about penguin habitat protection."

About 20 TasRail staff and contractors attended a recent on-site briefing from a PWS ranger that focused on little penguin habitat protection along the railway corridor between Burnie and Devonport.

While the works will be confined to the existing railway corridor, little penguins are known to nest in highly disturbed habitats and, in some places along the coast, the railway corridor offers the only option.

TasRail Chief Executive Officer Damien White said that the company was committed to working with PWS and the community to protect this significant penguin colony. 

He said that understanding these aspects of little penguin behaviour, and staff and contractors being able to recognise penguin burrows and signs of penguin habitation, would help to ensure that any rail works undertaken were conducted so as to minimise any negative impacts on little penguins.

"The briefing by the PWS ranger and the new PWS-Cradle Coast NRM brochure about little penguins will help to raise awareness about little penguins with our staff and contractors," Mr White said.

"For example, we are now much more aware of the importance of the penguin-proof fence that exists alongside many stretches of the north-west coast.  We now require our contractors to include risk management plans to prevent damage to the fence and to minimise the possibility of penguins straying onto railway lines or nearby highways."

Ms Alderson said it was really pleasing to see TasRail so committed to taking actions to ensure the safety and welfare of little penguins.

TasRail and Parks helping to look after little penguins

TasRail staff and ranger Ben Correy at the information session.