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Tas’ TICT off about forestry burns during tourism peaks

Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania (TICT) CEO, Luke Martin

Tasmania’s peak tourism industry organisation says a new approach is needed for forest management burns across the state during busy visitor periods. Source: Timberbiz

Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania (TICT) CEO, Luke Martin, said Sustainable Timbers Tasmania needed to contemporise its regeneration burns schedule during busy visitor periods and in areas close to popular visitor nodes.

“The tourism industry respects the professionalism of our forest managers and the science behind regeneration burns.

‘Yet, every autumn, like clockwork, we hear the same frustrations from our tourism operators in the upper Derwent Valley and see the same comments from our interstate and overseas visitors frankly aghast about the scale of the smoke.

“It’s just embarrassing and not what we’re about as a destination in 2023.”

Mr Martin said STT needs to do more to minimise its burning schedule and be accountable for the impact of these burns.

“For years as a tourism industry we’ve sought to work with STT around minimising the impact of these burns on the visitor experience and the local community, and the need to manage the interests of all industries in these areas.

“As a starting point, they should draw a line with no burns over the busy long weekends and the Easter school holiday break when visitor activity is most concentrated in the region.

“This will at least give our tourism operators and their guests certainty that the visitor experience will not be compromised during the busiest times of the season. It’s a reasonable outcome that respects the interests of all stakeholders.”

Mr Martin said the growth in tourism in some of the former timber communities like Maydena and Derby, was one of the state’s great modern economic success stories, but with it comes challenges.

“The two industries can co-exist with give and take on both sides, but we need to find a way to resolve these long-standing challenges that gives certainty to all businesses operating in these communities.”