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Maria Island Feasibility Study released


The Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, Brian Wightman said today that the State Government will soon call for expressions of interest for a sole ferry operator for Maria Island.

Mr Wightman said this was a key recommendation of the Maria Island Ecotourism Development Feasibility Study which was released today.

The study was funded by the Australian Government, which allocated $1.6 million in 2012 as part of the Tasmanian Forest Intergovernmental Agreement for a feasibility study to examine tourism initiatives for Maria Island and to upgrade the Maria Island jetty.

Mr Wightman said the key recommendations of the report included the need to introduce a ‘fit for purpose’ ferry service to be run exclusively by one operator.

“The report identified that the affordability and consistency of a quality freight and passenger service will determine visitation and the long term viability of Maria Island as an ecotourism destination.

“We know that Maria’s natural values, including its isolation, wildlife and scenery, along with the World Heritage listed Darlington Probation Station, have much to offer the visitor.

“We are committed to capitalising on these attributes to enhance the East Coast’s tourism appeal,” he said.

Mr Wightman said that other recommendations of the report included;

• renewal of the island’s brand and development of a marketing strategy;

 • creation of experiences that appeal to target markets and allow for visitors to experience the island’s values;

• upgrading service infrastructure; and

• the creation of additional accommodation options and food and beverage services.

“The PWS will continue to work with the Glamorgan Spring Bay Council. “The jetty upgrade is being undertaken in two stages, upgrading the ferry berth and lower landing followed by the demolition and replacement of the outer section of the jetty.

“The project is expected to be complete at the end of May 2014.

“Once complete, the new jetty will have a long lifespan. It will provide a much more sheltered environment than the current structure and offer a range of berthing options for visiting vessels,” Mr Wightman said.

The Maria Island Ecotourism Feasibility Study is available on the Parks and Wildlife Service website http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/file.aspx?id=33282

Maria Island Feasibility Study released

Visitors relax on the verandah at the Penitentiary.

Maria Island Feasibility Study released

The Coffee Palace after it was painted recently.

Maria Island Feasibility Study released

The chapel features historical artifacts as well as art displays.

Maria Island Feasibility Study released

A major upgrade of the jetty is scheduled to be completed at the end of May 2014.

Maria Island Feasibility Study released

The Painted Cliffs, one of Maria's many scenic attractions.

Maria Island Feasibility Study released

The brickworks is an impressive structure.