In 2019, the Tasmanian premier, Will Hodgman, announced that ‘Tasmania’s wild West Coast’ had been chosen as the preferred location for the state’s next ‘Iconic Walk’.
The area selected is the remote Tyndall Range. This ‘iconic walk’ will be similar to the Overland and Three Capes Tracks, where private hut networks have been built and tours are run by commercial operators. The Range is known for its rock climbing on conglomerate cliffs up to 300m in height, glacial lakes and substantial alpine areas and ‘out of the way’ nature. The plan to introduce a commercial operation is being opposed by many in the community.
The Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) is currently exploring options to develop the walk. The Project is still in the feasibility study stage. The PWS is seeking community assistance through a survey to ‘identify the benefits’ you think will arise from this project, so that the feasibility study ‘can be as comprehensive as possible’.
The survey is considering the following walk options:
– A three day, two night through walk (walking in one direction), including two accommodation sites on the track;
– A two day, one night return walk (same start and end location), including one accommodation site on the track; and
– New day walks and improved existing walks.
You will be asked to provide some details about yourself then answer a series of questions. The survey will take around 10 minutes to complete.
Where you get the option, can I suggest you say:
You don’t support commercial development in the Tyndall Range because it is inappropriate and unnecessary.
The least damaging option is number 3 – new day walks and existing walks.
You may also want to point out some of the following:
- The Tyndall Range includes areas of very high environmental sensitivity and ecological significance, and bringing large numbers of people into the area will bring a range of impacts.
- Ecologist Prof. Jamie Kirkpatrick has noted “the Tyndall Range is a floristic extreme of Tasmanian alpine vegetation and is unusual among the western mountains in that virtually all the alpine zone is unburnt and dominated by gymnosperms or deciduous beech”.
- Also, the area’s current Conservation Area tenure provides only a low level of protection, and the Tyndalls has long been proposed as an addition to the adjacent Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Building new tracks, and all the associated impacts that will come with that, will reduce the likelihood the area will receive World Heritage status in future.
The latter sections of the survey are primarily intended for people involved in local businesses.
Background stories on the proposed walk are available here.
The view of the Tasmanian National Parks Association (who say it is an inappropriate proposal) is available here.