Media Releases - 28 October 2022

If the Rockliff Govt is real about land returns, why reject the win-win kooparoona niara (Great Western Tiers) National Park?

kooparoona niara / the Great Western Tiers. Image: Rob Blakers.
  • Tasmanian Government again fails to support the Aboriginal community of lutruwita / Tasmania and boost Aboriginal management, conservation and tourism opportunities

  • Another example of timid, low-bar & unimaginative govt response to wide-open opportunity to demonstrate commitment to Land Justice, high-quality conservation and responsible tourism

  • Rockliff Government compounds broken promises that the govt would create a new national park

“When presented with the wide-open opportunity to support the palawa community, progress land justice and land returns, fulfill previous World Heritage promises to create a new national park, progress high-quality conservation and give a massive boost to the tourism industry, the Rockliff Government has somehow managed to fail them all,” said Tom Allen for the Wilderness Society (lutruwita / Tasmania).

“It’s all upsides to creating the first substantial new national park in lutruwita / Tasmania in 30 years and one that would be historic: for the first time in the state’s post-colonial history, the land returning to its rightful palawa owners, creating Aboriginal management and employment opportunities and creating a compelling new conservation and tourism destination all at once.

“It’s hard to understand on what basis a government could reject such a compelling combination of advantages but the Rockliff Government has chosen to do just that.

“Yesterday, Roger Jaensch - the minister for Aboriginal affairs, parks and the environment - trumpeted the fact that the government had consulted on its proposed changes to these reserves but failed to admit that 97% of submissions supported the creation of kooparoona niara National Park. The community has, yet again, been ignored by another sham consultation.

“Compounding all this is that the Tasmanian Government-owned logging agency, Forestry Tasmania [trading as Sustainable Timber Tasmania], is continuing its agenda of forest destruction, including in the majestic World-Heritage-grade forests in the foothills of the awe-inspiring kooparoona niara region. It’s a travesty.

“The Wilderness Society (lutruwita / Tasmania) remains committed to land returns, land justice and conservation, especially where they support each other, which kooparoona niara National Park does,” said Mr Allen.


The Tasmanian Government's own consultation in April 2021 on protecting this area found 97% of respondents wanted a new National Park created.

Last year, more than 18,000 people across the Australian continent signed on to a letter to the chair of the World Heritage Committee, making clear that both the Australian and Tasmanian governments have broken their repeated public promises to create a new national park in the kooparoona niara region.

Conservation groups have provided the Tasmanian Government with a detailed submission to support the palawa community and the unique and historic concept of a new national park that would also be returned to and run by its rightful owners, the palawa people.

For further comment contact Tom Allen, 0434 614 323

The images below shows logging coupe HU304Y in the foothills of the kooparoona niara (Great Western Tiers) - high conservation value, World Heritage-grade forest that has been logged by Forestry Tasmania. The bottom image shows a smashed old-growth tree, which the Tasmanian Govt claims it doesn’t log.