We want Tasmania to be open and accessible to Tasmanians and tourists. This includes the Tarkine four-wheel drive tracks. We can have an open Tasmania while still looking after our beautiful environment.
Our State’s Natural Beauty is an Asset
Tasmania’s been a hidden gem for too long. The mainland simply can’t compete with our state’s combination of natural beauty and economic opportunity.
More and more people are discovering what Tasmania has to offer. 1.3 million people visited Tasmania last year, spending $2.3 billion in our local small cafes, shops, restaurants, museums bed and breakfasts and other small businesses in the process.
Eco-tourism is an opportunity to develop both of our competitive strengths further, without compromising either of them.
Tasmania’s eco-tourism industry continues to go from strength to strength. More and more tourists are discovering what’s great about our great state. That’s a good thing. More tourists from the mainland means more people spending money in Tasmania’s small businesses, creating jobs and bringing investment to parts of the state that sometimes don’t get a lot of love from the big parties.
But what we don’t want is to have the things that attract so many people to Tasmania get locked away or roped off, so that, in trying to preserve them, we end up hiding them.
It’s important to get the balance right. We don’t think that the state should be locked up by anti-development Greens or opened up for everyone and everything, like the Liberals think. What’s needed is a balance between conservation and investment. Because if we’re not bringing in money from across the country and beyond, then we’re going to find ourselves without the money to protect the parts of Tasmania’s ecosystem that we’re rightfully keen to protect. If we hide from the world, we’ll go broke. And a broke state can’t protect anything.
The Jacqui Lambie Network will re-open up a new round of Expressions of Interest in eco-tourism developments, with an eye to fast-tracking approvals for new ways to show off what’s best about our natural ecosystem in a sustainable and cost-effective way. The process will require triple-bottom line accounting to make sure each application nets an economic, social and environmental benefit.
But unlike the Liberals, we’ll open up the Expressions of Interest to everyone. Last time the process was run by the Hodgman Government, the whole process was hidden from the public and shrouded in secrecy from the get-go. Tasmanians deserve to have their decisions made in daylight. Everyone should get a say in how our natural resources are managed, because we’ve all got a stake in getting the balance right.
Protecting our environment means respecting it, not locking it away and throwing away the key. We want our world-leading eco-tourism industry to further mature and prosper, and we can only do that by maintaining our reputation for environmental sustainability and management. We don’t support going in with chainsaws and bulldozers. But we do support going in. So long as it’s done right, with respect, and with caution. We’re for helping small businesses manage one of our biggest assets. Tasmania, its economy, its environment and its people, will be better for it.
 "Four new eco tourism projects in Tasmanian parkland to be ... - ABC." 6 Nov. 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-11-07/four-new-eco-tourism-projects-up-and-running-for-summer/8002786. Accessed 17 Feb. 2018.