In the ABC News yesterday:
So the UNESCO World Heritage Committee is now questioning the policies of the Tasmanian State Government.
In Paris overnight, UNESCO’s WHC urged the draft plan be changed. An initial review cited concerns that the plan appeared to create potential for logging operations and mining activity in the World Heritage Area.
An article by Vica Bayley on Tasmanian Times provides more details:
The draft decision of the World Heritage Committee, for consideration at its [forthcoming] June meeting, represents a damning rejection of the Tasmanian Government’s proposed management of Tasmania’s World Heritage Area.
The draft decision identifies ……. prohibiting logging and mining via upgraded conservation tenure as key actions that need to be taken.
Informed by expert reports from the Committee’s advisory bodies, the draft decision …. urges … that commercial logging and mining are not permitted within the entire [WHA] property, and that all areas of public lands within the property’s boundaries… have a status that ensures adequate protection (p. 56).
The draft Committee decision can be found at:
http://whc.unesco.org/archive/2015/whc15-39com-7BAdd-en.pdf. (1.8MB pdf file).
Pages 54 and 56 of the document are the most relevant.
It appears that Tasmania’s special timbers industry is fast running out of options, at least in terms of access to a taxpayer subsidised public forest resource. The World Heritage Committee will not accept special timbers logging within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.
Here are some of my previous stories about the Draft Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan:
Curiously the ABC news article says that the Tasmanian tourism Industry supports the draft Plan, when in fact the Tourism Council’s own submission is extremely qualified in its support, with strong opposition to the logging and mining proposals in the Plan.
So when will Tasmania get a fully commercial, profitable forest industry?