Up­grades for Tassie parks

$4m al­lo­cated for 34 projects

Sunday Tasmanian - - News - THEMERCURY.COM.AU DAVID BENIUK State Po­lit­i­cal Ed­i­tor SUN­DAY SEPTEM­BER 17 2017

MORE than 30 projects in na­tional parks and re­serves will be funded by a $4 mil­lion bud­get al­lo­ca­tion this fi­nan­cial year, En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Matthew Groom says.

Up­grades to fa­cil­i­ties at Fr­eycinet, Bruny Is­land, Mt Field, The Nut and Fortes­cue Bay are among the 34 in­fra­struc­ture projects to be un­der­taken in 2017-18.

The Hodg­man Govern­ment al­lo­cated $8 mil­lion to parks up­grades over two years in the May Bud­get.

Projects to be funded this year range from mas­ter plans for some of the state’s most vis­ited areas to toi­lets and bar­be­cues. Tas­ma­nia’s record tourist num­bers have put un­prece­dented pres­sure on pop­u­lar na­tional parks, but boosted re­gional economies.

“It does put pres­sure on in­fra­struc­ture and it is there­fore im­por­tant that you’re demon­strat­ing a com­mit­ment to in­vest­ing in that in­fra­struc­ture,” Mr Groom said.

A fur­ther 12 projects have been iden­ti­fied for the sec­ond in­stal­ment of $4 mil­lion in 2018-19.

The money has been wel­comed by the Tourism In­dus­try Coun­cil Tas­ma­nia, which is keen to see world­class fa­cil­i­ties at iconic des­ti­na­tions like Cra­dle Moun­tain.

“It’s fair to say they’ve prob­a­bly been a bit un­der-in­vested in by gov­ern­ments over a long pe­riod of time and, to cor­rect that, it’s go­ing to take a lot of time and take smart in­vest­ments like this,” TICT chief Luke Martin said.

In­cluded in this year’s fund­ing is a new walk­ing track to Wine­glass Bay, due to re­open this month, up­grades to the Bruny Is­land Neck look­out, a shel­ter at Mt Maw­son and a track up­grade at Rus­sell Falls.

Ma­jor plans are be­ing de­vel­oped to man­age boom­ing vis­i­tor num­bers and traf­fic con­cerns at Fr­eycinet Na­tional Park and Cockle Creek.

The Op­po­si­tion an­nounced a $50 mil­lion, 10-year re­gional tourism in­fra­struc­ture pack­age last year. Op­po­si­tion tourism spokesman Scott Ba­con said grass­roots projects such as an up­grade for Rich­mond’s streetscape and Stra­han’s water­front needed to be con­sid­ered along­side ma­jor in­vest­ment.

Mean­while, the RACT has re­newed its lease on Fr­eycinet Lodge, which will un­dergo a re­fur­bish­ment.

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