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Issue #1429      23 September 2009

Come clean on parks cuts: Tassie Greens

The Tasmanian Greens last week demanded that the Bartlett government come clean on how its massive cuts to the Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) budget will affect jobs, park maintenance, public accessibility and entrance fees.

Greens Environment and Parks spokesperson Cassy O’Connor MP said the government’s failure to deny reports that park entrance fees will rise, that up to 30 permanent PWS positions will be axed, and that key visitor facilities will be closed, is a telling indicator of what’s in store for Tasmania’s protected places.

Ms O’Connor also highlighted the irony of the Bartlett government offering free entry to Tasmania’s National Parks to mark World Parks Day, while also quietly planning to raise fees and slash services in those same National Parks.

“The Bartlett government must come clean. Tasmanians are entitled to know how much more they will be charged to visit their National Parks, how much less maintenance and accessibility those Parks will retain, and how many Parks will lose Park Rangers,” said Ms O’Connor.

“At a time when Tasmania’s tourism market is bucking the national trend, and in the lead-up to World Parks Day, the Bartlett government is gutting the very places that draw people here from all over the world.”

The Greens are calling on the government to come clean and reveal whether the massive cut to the PWS budget will indeed result in higher entrance fees, less accessibility, and reductions in Park maintenance and Park Ranger numbers.

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