15 November 2012
Hansard of the Legislative Council
UNNAMED CONSERVATION AREA AT BADGER HEAD
Mr FARRELL (Derwent - Leader of Government Business in
the Legislative Council - Motion) - Madam President, I move -
That the Council approve a draft proclamation under section 21(1) of the Nature Conservation Act 2002 which
revokes the reservation status of an unnamed conservation area at Badger Head.
This is so that it can be prepared for sale. The conservation area
at Badger Head is at the western end of Badger Beach.
The reserved land is relatively small, being only 2 160 square metres in size,
and is located at the end of a residential cul-de-sac. It was bought by the
crown in 1978 so that it and a number of other blocks that were intended to be
bought at the same time could be added to the then Asbestos Range National
Park. The larger blocks that were not part of this proposal were not purchased
so the plan to add the smaller blocks to the national park, including the
Badger Head block, did not go ahead. The land is surrounded on three sides by
private residential properties and on the fourth side by a large block owned by
West Tamar Council. The close proximity of a number of private landholders, the
small size of the block, and the lack of connectivity to other reserve land
have reduced the value of the block to the Tasmanian Reserve Estate.
The vegetation on the crown block is regrowth dry forest. Much of
the original vegetation on the block is likely to have been cleared to
construct low and high voltage power lines that run up through the middle of
the block. Native vegetation on it would provide some habitat for native fauna,
however given its small size, disturbance history and context in the landscape,
it is not considered significant.
No threatened flora and fauna have been identified on the property
and it contains no other significant natural values. Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania has advised
that there are no Aboriginal heritage sites in or close to the property and
accordingly AHT has no objection to the sale of the parcel of land.
Prior to any sale of the land the reservation status of the land
needs to be revoked. This will require the Governor to make a proclamation
under section 21 of the Nature Conservation Act 2002. Prior to the Governor
making such a proclamation a draft of the proclamation needs to be approved by
both Houses of parliament. The director of Parks and Wildlife supports the
proposal for revocation and sale of this land. I commend this motion to the
Mr FINCH (Rosevears) - Being the
representative for this area, it behoves me to speak and inform members about
the property that is for revocation. Badger Head is an interesting area because
it is part of what used to be the Asbestos
Park, but of course with asbestos being
politically incorrect, the name was changed to Narawntapu. It is a firm part of
the Narawntapu National Park. That is why some of that
area is under the Nature Conservation Act.
I first became aware of this area when I was with the ABC. A lady
by the name of Joan Lyons, one of the very few residents at Badger Head, wrote
a small history of Badger Head and its place on Bass Strait as a location for
explorers, travellers and people who wanted to explore Tasmania. Joan wrote a lovely book, sent it
to me, and I had contact with her. She passed away a couple of years ago and
her husband quite some time before. He was known as the mayor of Badger Head
and his nickname was Tiger. I never did find out his real name but the mayor,
or Tiger, and Joan lived there. They developed a lovely home there. Badger Head
has been used over many years by the residents of the West Tamar as a holiday
area. In fact there were seven to 10 families who used it regularly for
camping. When it became part of the Parks and Wildlife area they were
forbidden. That opportunity was not available to them anymore. In people's
minds it was certainly a wonderful getaway, a coastline holiday spot such as we
Tasmanians use for our breaks and recreation.
The Beaconsfield Football Club had a big shack with a lot of bunks
in it. I know that the children and families of the community did not go there
when the footballers were there but they were happy to share the hut with the
community. I think it has been dismantled now. You can imagine a lot of people
of the community have a spiritual link to this area.
As described by the leader, it is on the western end of Badger
Beach, which goes about 5 kilometres round to Greens Beach so it is a
significant beach area; a very wide and wonderful beach. I had some issues
there in the past because I know that Parks and Wildlife wanted people who were
camping there or going there fishing, particularly, to desist because of the
birds and the wildlife in the national park and the damage that their
activities might cause. That caused some consternation with the local
community, but things have settled down. I believe there has been an acceptance
of what the Parks and Wildlife Service was trying to achieve. That situation
has not arisen of recent times.
In locating and describing the area, Narawntapu National Park
was visited when Harry Butler was doing his wildlife series on ABC television.
He covered that area and said, on television, and I quote: 'This has the most
wildlife I have ever seen in any location in Australia.'
Ms Forrest - You were there at the time?
Mr FINCH - Yes,
'wildlife' needs some definition.
Badger Head is named after what our early settlers called wombats.
If you know the area as I do, wombats are all over Narawntapu
National Park and certainly down parts
of the West Tamar, particularly around Greens Beach.
I am sure that the name of Badger Head came from the wombats which are prolific
in that area.
Mr Gaffney - A couple of things on that. I appreciate
the way you describe the area. It has been referred to as the 'Serengeti' of Tasmania or Australia,
and Narawntapu was the first national park in Australia that has had its name
changed to an Aboriginal name. It was previously called the Asbestos Range
Mr FINCH - I was going to make notes but
I will get that from Hansard. Thank you for that extra bit of history. I
have checked, though not extensively, because of the short notice that we had
with this. I would have liked to talk to the Pisconeri family who are of
longstanding in the area and know the district very well. I have checked with
the council. They do not have an issue with this. In fact, it could be that
because of the proximity of that being adjacent to some council land, the
council might look to acquire it if they feel that it is of any purpose or
leave it as it is, as this wonderful block of 2 160 square metres which would
be a fabulous getaway and opportunity for people if they want to develop a site
in the vicinity of the fantastic Narawntapu National Park and the beach area.
It is not that far away from it.
With those few words about the history and the area, I will leave
the lectern with my approval of this being revoked.
Ms RATTRAY (Apsley) - While I was enthralled with the
previous speaker about the area - I almost want to buy the area now; I think
most others might also want to buy it - talking about purchasing crown land,
which effectively is what you will be able to do, I wonder what the time frame
will be of the availability for purchase, should this pass as it obviously