National Parks at risk from tourism activities

The recommendations of an inquiry into the impacts of tourism would leave NSW National Parks at risk from development and fossicking, warns Greens MP and Tourism spokesperson Jan Barham.

“I’m alarmed that the inquiry has recommended allowing the development of tourist accommodation and supporting fossicking within parks. This is a missed opportunity to recognise the importance of reserving pristine natural areas, and the value it contributes to the state’s tourism appeal,” Ms Barham said.

“The NSW Visitor Economy Taskforce’s Action Plan documented that nature and wildlife experiences are a key drawcard for the tourism industry in NSW. We need to maintain the state’s reputation for protecting the natural appeal of NSW.”

Ms Barham noted that building structures in National Parks was unnecessary and undermined the commercial tourism potential for local landholders.

“Aside from the impact of development on the park environment, landowners who are adjacent or near to these protected areas will miss out on opportunities to develop accommodation on private land.”

Ms Barham called on the Government to reject any activity that would undermine the quality of National Parks and erode the state’s tourism appeal.

“There is an unfortunate trend for governments, including this NSW Government, to remove protections from our most precious natural areas. I hope the Government sees that this would damage a major source of appeal for visitors, affecting communities and tourist operators across the state,” Ms Barham concluded.

For Further Comment, please contact Jan Barham directly on 0447 853 891

Visitor Economy Taskforce Final Report 2012 p. 34:

“It is the natural, unspoilt locations which most appeal to potential intrastate and interstate visitors to NSW. Wildlife, beach and coastal experiences are also highly appealing to potential visitors…”

Tourism Inquiry Report and Recommendations