Millions of Australians have worked hard to gain protection of our wild places over many decades. The national parks and other conservation areas that have been created as a result of these efforts protect some of our wildest and greatest landscapes.
In recent years it has become clear that climate change poses a grave – and in some cases existential – threat to many of these places. Then there is the threat of invasive plant and animal species, fragmentation of habitat due to clearing and logging in areas next to reserves, etc.
A more insidious threat has been the slow shift by both state and federal governments to consider, or actively support, commercial operations in our conservation reserves.
This is well underway in Tasmania, with private commercial developments along the Overland Track, and plans for other operations in many parts of the state.
Recent examples include the plan to allow ‘helicopter tourism’ and a small commercial operation inside the Walls of Jerusalem national park in Central Tasmania and a plan to build a cable car into the famous Dove Lake, near Cradle Mountain. In some instances, land is being removed from parks to allow various forms of development.
A recent report shows the scale of this threat.
Continue reading “Australia’s conservation reserves under threat from commercialisation”