Have a say on Freycinet
Plan aims to protect Tassie tourism jewel
THE tourism industry has hailed the vision of the Draft Freycinet Peninsula Master Plan to get vehicles out of the national park.
The plan was released for public comment yesterday.
Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania chief executive Luke Martin said he was excited by the plan to restrict traffic in the park by building a transport node and using water transport and shuttle buses.
“It is a big plan and to achieve it is going to cost a lot of money,” he said.
“Cradle Mountain and Freycinet are the two hot spots and now that Cradle has a plan, it is time to start moving towards a sustainable plan for Freycinet to manage the growth.”
Mr Martin said a management model similar to Port Arthur could help raise the funds for the vision.
“At the moment a car with five people can get into Freycinet for the price of a day entry pass for $27 and spend a whole day at Wineglass Bay,” he said.
“[Have] a model like Port Arthur, where money raised at the site is spent there, rather than sucked into a central pool.”
Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman said the master plan aimed to protect and manage the values that made the Freycinet Peninsula on the East Coast special for both visitors and locals.
The plan aims to protect cultural, environmental and social values in the face of a massive increase in visitors.
The master plan envisages an increase from the present 301,000 visitors to 330,000 by 2020.
“Freycinet is one of Tasmania’s premier tourism hot spots, which draws people to experience the region’s stunning natural beauty,” he said.
“It is a world-class visitor destination.”
Five initiatives have been identified as the key to resolving the challenge of visitor growth. (see above)
The public can comment on the plan until 9am, July 23.
A study of cruise ship visits and scenic helicopter flights will be undertaken to understand their impacts.
The plan also looks at maintaining the current level of commercial day-based op- erations south of The Hazards within the Freycinet National Park to protect the sense of wildness for those who venture beyond the primary day use areas.
Visitation at Freycinet National Park has increased from 186,000 in 2011-12 to 301,000 last financial year.
Freycinet Action Network convener Sophie Underwood welcomed the master plan.
“Freycinet is iconic and an important part of the Tasmanian brand so it is good to see that there is a six-week comment period,” she said.
“This is the kind of consideration that we need to be having statewide at a time when Tasmania is receiving massive international exposure and there is increasing foreign ownership.”
The master plan was de- veloped over the past eight months with input from the community and a steering committee comprising representatives from the Department of State Growth, Glamorgan Spring Bay Council, East Coast Tourism, the Freycinet Association Inc and Freycinet Destination Action Plan group.