The Tasmanian Greens said the Adventure Racing World Championship which kicks off in Burnie today is a glimpse into the Tarkine’s exciting future as a magnet for adventure seekers and nature lovers from across the world.
Greens Member for Braddon Paul O’Halloran MP, who has long advocated that the north-west should market itself as an adventure sports destination, said he was thrilled that the region was chosen for this year’s event.
“This race will take competitors into some of the most spectacular and remote places imaginable, through the Tarkine’s prehistoric forests, along its rugged coasts and down its majestic rivers,” Mr O’Halloran said.
“I can’t think of a better way to market the rugged beauty of this region to the rest of the world, or a better way to demonstrate how deeply we care for this globally significant wilderness.”
“Organisers are calling this race their ‘most expeditionary world championships yet’, which just goes to show what a unique and special place we have right here on our doorstep.”
“The Greens have been advocating for some time for this unique potential to be tapped into strategically. We are excited about the potential of adventure-based tourism to transform Tasmania into a thrill-seekers’ mecca along the lines of New Zealand and British Columbia, places which already reap huge economic benefits.”
“Not only could this increase tourism and grow the population in the north-west, it will have positive flow on effects to some of the region’s major infrastructure such as local schools, hospitals and transport services.”
“This is why we must also ensure that strong protections are in place to help build this region’s growing reputation as a unique wilderness jewel and to ensure that its natural values aren’t eroded over time.”
“I wish all the competitors a safe and memorable journey, as they set out at the start of this epic 733 kilometre adventure.”
• Dr Phill Pullinger, Director, Environment Tasmania: Parks Investment Needed Not Staff Cuts
The revelation that up to 20 Parks and Wildlife Service staff jobs will be lost through budget cuts have sparked fears amongst environment groups of a degradation of Tasmania’s world class National Parks and reserve system through under-resourcing.
“Tassie’s Parks & Wildlife service is looking after a remarkable National Parks system that is soon to be expanded through the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement. The existing and new National Parks that the Parks & Wildlife Service will be responsible for managing means it is perfectly placed to be the world leader in nature conservation and protected areas management,” said Dr Phill Pullinger, Director of Environment Tasmania,
“However – there has to be a sustainable funding model for our Parks service. Investment in the Parks and Wildlife Service is an investment in the future of our State, our natural heritage and the economic benefits delivered to Tasmania from our nature-based tourism industry and other industries that benefit from our natural image. These funds deliver the staff and capacity required to properly look after our unique and important forests. This latest round of State Government cuts - cutting back staffing to an already stretched Parks service, is a major setback,”
“Thankfully the Intergovernmental Agreement on Forests delivers $7 million per annum in recurrent funding to Tasmania from the Commonwealth Government for the management of the new National parks promised in the agreement. These funds will be a critical component of ensuring that the Parks & Wildlife service can employ more rangers, conservation staff and other expertise to properly look after Tassie’s stunning wild places,” he said.
Environment Tasmania is the peak body for Tasmanian environment & conservation groups – and represents over 20 Tasmanian environment groups with collective representation of over 5000 Tasmanians.