Image for More Projects Moving on to Second Stage of EOI Process

Goat Bluff from Hope’s Beach, South Arm. Image from here

Today I have invited a further eight projects to proceed to the second stage of the Liberal Government’s Expressions of Interest process for sensitive and appropriate tourism offerings in our National Parks and the World Heritage Area.

The acceptance today of the Panel’s recommendations on eight projects recommended to proceed to Stage 2 adds to the five projects which I invited to go to the next stage last weekend.

The Liberal Government has a goal to transform Tasmania into the environmental tourism capital of the world to create jobs for Tasmanians and help reach a target of 1.5 million visitors a year by 2020. We want to give more Tasmanians and visitors the opportunity to experience our unique, world class wilderness areas.

The Government is committed to being open and transparent as we progress through the EOI process.

I will continue to work through the remaining proposals and the recommendations of the Assessment Panel progressively and will make decisions public as they are made.

I remain committed to completing this process by no later than 13 March.

Further details about each of the proposals invited to proceed to Stage 2 can be found at http://www.cg.tas.gov.au.

It is extremely important to note that proceeding to Stage 2 does not amount to a final approval for a proposal.

Stage 2 involves a more rigorous assessment of each proposal and for successful proposals, negotiations will then be entered into for appropriate lease or licence arrangements. Successful proponents will also be required to obtain all other necessary approvals as required under standard State and Federal planning and approval processes.

Projects invited today to proceed to Stage 2

•      Mr Robert Fairlie, Dooloomai Youth Project – Arthur Pieman Conservation Area. Multi-day accommodated walk starting at Pieman Heads and completing at Sandy Cape. The tour will be a fully inclusive accommodated walk with all food, transport, accommodation and guides provided. Dooloomai Youth Project provides wilderness camps for the Tasmanian community focussing on youth and disadvantaged clientele. The proponent will work closely with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community to offer opportunities for employment of aboriginal people as guides, develop a relationship to ensure facilities respect and enhance the cultural sites of the coast, and consult with the Aboriginal community to ensure stories the guides relate to clients are culturally appropriate and supported by the Aboriginal community.

•      Mr Stuart Gibson, Bunkers Big Wave Base Camp – Goat Bluff, South Arm. Development of a Bunkers Surf Camp and Interpretation Centre through restoration of existing remnant of significant World War 2 defence bunkers and trenches. The Centre would provide knowledge and logistics required in managing a successful expedition to surf Tasmania’s big waves. It will be a facility open to all including students on surf camps looking for skill development assistance but focussing on assisting professional surfers wanting help in accessing our big waves.

•      Mr Troy Grining and Mr Guy Grining, World Heritage Cruises – Gordon River. World Heritage Cruises proposes to develop a pioneering Gordon River eco-tourism experience, where visitors have the option of accommodation and light adventure activities on the river and the opportunity to be “immersed” in an all-encompassing wilderness experience. To achieve this, World Heritage Cruises proposes to design and construct “The Lighthouse”; a 45m, purpose built, ultra-low wake, electrically driven, self-contained, steel and glass vessel that operates in the lower Gordon River. The vessel would have accommodation (40 beds), restaurant, interpretation facilities, outdoor areas and activity areas / facilities for guided kayaking, bird watching, photography, astrology etc.

•      Mr Nicolas Dansin, Trees Adventure – Mount Field National Park. Trees Adventure proposes to design, build and maintain up to eight individually-designed adventure challenge courses over five different levels of difficulty in the Mount Field National Park. The facility would provide the opportunity to promote the values associated with the national park environment. It would be similar in concept to the three other facilities created, constructed and operated by Trees Adventure – at Glen Harrow (Belgrave, Victoria), Nowra Park (Nowra, New South Wales) and Grose River Park (Yarramundi, New South Wales).

•      Mr Heath Garratt, Tasmanian Walking Company, Walls of Jerusalem Lodge Walk. Tasmanian Walking Company proposes a new four–day guided hut and lodge-based bushwalk within the Walls of Jerusalem National Park.

•      Mr Heath Garratt, Tasmanian Walking Company, Overland Track Experience. Due to current high demand and anticipated further demand for commercial guided tours on the Overland Track and other high end multi-day walking experiences within Tasmania, TWC propose a second hut-based guided walk along the Overland Track. The six huts along the Overland Track will be carefully sited, and have external finishes designed to minimise visibility from surrounding peaks and tracks within the National Park.

•      Mr Heath Garratt, Tasmanian Walking Company, Cradle Base Camp Experience. Tasmanian Walking Company proposes a new overnight guided lodge-based bushwalk within the Cradle Mountain – Lake St Clair National Park – the Cradle Base Camp Experience. Situated in the northern end of the Cradle Mountain Lake St Clair National Park, the CBCE will operate a 21km walking itinerary effectively circumnavigating the Cradle Mountain massif on lesser used existing walking tracks.

•      Mr Heath Garratt, Tasmanian Walking Company, Frenchman’s Cap Walk. Proposal for a Four–day guided permanent camp-based bushwalk within the Franklin-Gordon Wild Rivers National Park – the Frenchman’s Cap Walk.

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• John Biggs, in Comments: “The Government is committed to being open and transparent as we progress through the EOI process.” Surely that means letting the public know the criteria for judging these projects and how each measured up.