Tourism projects for Tasmanian World Heritage Area and national parks move to next approval phase

Updated February 14, 2015 14:21:32

Details of five tourism projects proposed for Tasmania's World Heritage Area (WHA) and national parks have been released.

They include a proposal for five huts along the South Coast Track in the South-West National Park and a plan for boat trips in the Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour areas.

A three-day mountain bike experience, including accomodation pods in the north-east, an adventure precinct at Narawntapu National Park and a five-day walk on Flinders Island have also been proposed.

The projects are among 24 which will now be assessed by an expert panel.

The Tasmanian Government received an initial 37 expressions of interests (EOIs) after announcing it would open up its parks to more tourism developments.

The move has been opposed by conservation and Aboriginal groups.

Minister for the Environment Parks and Heritage Matthew Groom said the projects would now move into the next leasing and licensing phase.

"These proposals are not approved, they are invited to move into the second stage of the EOI process," Mr Groom said.

Blue Derby Pods Ride

- Uses new mountain bike trails in the north-east for three-day mountain biking experience

Tasmanian Boat Charters South-West Signature Experience - Purpose built 19.4m accommodation boat for exploring Port Davey and Bathurst Harbour, as well as other locations

Narawntapu Adventures Precinct - Development of an activity base at Narawntapu National Park extending existing horse trails

South Coast Track Huts Walk, South-West National Park - Construction of five environmentally-sensitive huts at strategic sites along the track, one day's walk apart

Flinders Island Crossing - Concept for coast-to-coast walk over five days on Flinders Island

"I'm very keen to move through this process as quickly as I can. I've indicated that we intend to have it done by no later than March 13."

Mr Groom said the projects would help secure jobs in regional areas and meet the Government's target of 1.5 million visitors by 2020.

"What we've seen from this process is that there is a genuine interest from investors, people that are keen to put forward ideas for new tourism experiences.

"It's very important as a state that were open to ideas and open to new opportunities to make sure we have the types of tourism experiences that can meet the demand."

If the Minister accepts the panel's recommendations, negotiations will begin on licensing or leasing arrangements and meeting statutory approvals.

Mr Groom said in regard to allowing boats in the WHA, there would be even tighter controls.

"Under the current plan you can use motorised boats in various parts of the WHA," he said.

"What is different in new plan is we are a little bit more prescriptive about where that can happen, we are little bit more prescriptive about landing arrangements."

Topics:national-parks, tourism, states-and-territories, port-davey-7001, flinders-island-7255, derby-7264

First posted February 14, 2015 12:53:22

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