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Council welcomes approval of Hunter Island Framework

31 March 2005

The framework for the future management of Hunter Island has been approved by the Minister for Tourism, Parks and Heritage, Ken Bacon following the submission of a proposal by the Circular Head Council in August 2004.

Mayor Ross Hine said "This is an innovative model providing an avenue for ongoing community involvement and monitoring of lease performance. The Circular Head community expressed that desire and the State Government responded.

The approval is subject to stringent management requirements. These include a fire management strategy for the lease area allowing for habitat and fuel reduction burning, a Phytopthora cinamomi management plan and restrictions on coastal grazing during the migration period of the Orange Bellied Parrot.

A requirement of the framework is that a group, known as the Hunter Island Advisory Committee, be established to provide feedback to the State Government on management issues. The group will include both community members as well as Council and State representatives.

A framework was prepared in response to a request by the Minister for Tourism, Parks and Heritage, Ken Bacon, for the Council to lead a consultation process to provide community views on how the island should be managed. The proposal acknowledges representations and views received from a number of parties.

"The Council is excited to be a part of this unique initiative. We will be inviting nominations from individuals who possess the skills and experience that correspond with the key value sets that need to be managed on the island." said Mayor Hine.

Greg Winton, General Manager of the Circular Head Council suggested that "The framework demonstrates how wealth can be generated together with sound conservation outcomes. It recognises that to be sustainable, environmental outcomes also require both time and funding consistency. The model creates this consistency without burdening the public purse."

It proposes that Lessees be required to produce fire, weed, visitor, cultural heritage, grazing, feral animal and threatened species management plans at their cost to address social, cultural and environmental issues of concern. "Under the principles proposed, the island will be better managed than many other conservation areas and islands in Tasmania. It also demonstrates an ongoing commitment by the local community to actively ensure the Island is managed more appropriately and that its values are not further diminished." Mr. Winton said.

Further enquiries may be directed to Ross Hine by telephoning 6457 1154 or mobile 0418 309 442.

Authorised for general media distribution by Greg Winton, General Manager, Circular Head Council on Wednesday 23 March 2005.