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Celebrating Our World Heritage Area Custodians

12/11/2007

The Minister for Tourism, Arts and the Environment, Paula Wriedt, has paid tribute to the many Tasmanians who have played a role in the first 25 years of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

Ms Wriedt last night joined community members, rangers, scientists, conservationists, planners, business operators, and government representatives at Strahan to celebrate the milestone.

"Managing this special part of the world would not be possible without the support of the Tasmanian community, especially those who live near and work in the World Heritage Area," said Ms Wriedt.

"The social and economic livelihoods of many towns such as Strahan are directly affected by the Wilderness World Heritage Area.

"Each year around 160,000 interstate visitors come to Strahan with more than 100,000 of them choosing to cruise the Gordon River to experience the unique beauty of this area."

Ms Wriedt also praised the work done by approximately 170 Tasmanian Government staff involved in conserving and presenting the Tasmanian Wilderness.

"The success of this Wilderness World Heritage Area is a measure of the tireless work done by our rangers and scientists and the support of communities such as Strahan," Ms Wriedt said.

All Tasmanians have an opportunity to celebrate the anniversary with a public open day on Saturday 8 December.

Everyone can experience wombats at Cradle Mountain, platypus at Lake St Clair, waratahs flowering at Hartz Mountains and the majestic formations of Marakoopa Cave at Mole Creek.

There will be rangers and scientists on hand to share their excitement about this special place with talks, walks, food and drink.

"Everyone will be able to get into these places for free, experience their beauty, understand the history, talk to a scientist about what makes them special, walk with a ranger and share the wonder of these places through their eyes," Ms Wriedt said.

The Tasmanian Wilderness was inscribed on the World Heritage list in December 1982.

This financial year the Tasmanian Government is spending more than $15 million managing the area, with approximately 170 staff from various agencies spending at least part of their time on world heritage related work.

Further information on the 25th anniversary celebrations is available from the Parks and Wildlife Service website:

www.parks.tas.gov.au.