Wet Trop­ics plan seeks user voice

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - LIFESTYLE -

TOURISM op­er­a­tors, con­ser­va­tion­ists and lo­cals are be­ing called to ac­tion by the Wet Trop­ics Man­age­ment for their upcoming re­view of the Wet Trop­ics Man­age­ment Plan.

Ma­jor stake­hold­ers are en­cour­aged have their say by at­tend­ing a pub­lic meet­ing hosted by the Al­liance for Sus­tain­able Tourism at Moss­man Shire Hall at 6pm, Thurs­day, May 25.

Among other things, it is pro­posed the Bump Track and East Black Moun­tain road will no longer be clas­si­fied roads, free­ing up the ar­eas for recre­ational use.

Al­liance for Sus­tain­able Tourism Chair, Max Shep­pard, said the plan isn’t all red tape; it’s about as­sess­ing sus­tain­able op­tions.

“You’ve al­ready seen a great boom in moun­tain bik­ing and hik­ing. More and more peo­ple are get­ting out into the wet trop­ics ar­eas, so what are the op­por­tu­ni­ties we need there in 10 years time?” Mr Shep­pard said.

“It’s a bit about pro­tect­ing sen­si­tive ar­eas...but it’s also im­por­tant that the walk­ing trails and vis­i­tors sites that we have re­main avail­able to tourists and lo­cals to use in those ar­eas”

The plan is set to al­ter zon­ing around high vis­i­ta­tion ar­eas such as Em­ma­gen Creek, to al­low the Dou­glas Shire Coun­cil to make ap­pli­ca­tions to de­velop in­fra­struc­ture in the area.

Wet Trop­ics Man­age­ment Author­ity ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, Scott Buchanan, said the plan will be about bal­anc­ing con­ser­va­tion and tourism.

“It’s a bal­ance be­tween man­ag­ing the World Her­itage area val­ues and pro­tect­ing them but also en­abling nec­es­sary in­fra­struc­ture to go ahead.”

The pro­posed plan, which is re­viewed ev­ery 10 years, will also in­tro­duce the Bloom­field Falls Trail­head, Roar­ing Meg, Alexan­dra Range Look­out, Hart­ley’s Croc­o­dile Ad­ven­tures and south Wangetti Beach to Zone D.

Picture: SHANE NI­CHOLS

Wait­ing to cross Em­ma­gen Creek

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