Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Tony Burke MP

Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

The launch of Tasmania's Island Heritage as the 15th National Landscape at Brickendon Estate, Longford, Tasmania

3 October 2012

TONY BURKE: Thanks very much. I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land we're on today and elders past and present, the Archer family and all the history that that family has here, my ministerial colleague Martin Ferguson, departmental colleagues.

The Landscapes Program is about moving away from the concept where you can visit an area, see the places as on the postcard, check the box and get on a plane out of there again. The Landscapes Program gets to the heart of the fact that when you visit somewhere you've got a whole series of connected places and in terms of the jobs outcome we often say the key to tourism can increase the numbers and get more people arriving.

But the easiest way to make a real difference in jobs and the economy, the easiest way is for the people who do come to get to stay day after day after day. It's a story that has been told in many parts of Australia since this program was launched and a story which has won great cooperation between Martin's department and my department.

From an environmental perspective we're pleased, really pleased with the Park's Division, the director of National Parks, Peter Cochrane, in being able to acknowledge that environmentally when we provide those sorts of tourism sites we provide something that no-one else on earth can build. No-one else on earth can build a natural landscape, no-one else on earth can build a deep cultural tradition, no-one else on earth can build something that we're standing in now that's already steeped in generations of history.

When we attract people to something that no-one else on earth can build it means you're attracting people to something that they can only visit, experience and breathe in by spending time in Tasmania. Whenever we've dealt with national landscapes in the past the question has always been asked well why didn't you include this? Why didn't you include that? What does it say about Tasmania that the only questions that I was asked this morning was how come you didn't also include this bit or that bit? It says something extraordinary about this part of our planet, and in being more than part of the national landscapes, the Tasmanian message should now ring out to the world loud and clear.

Seeing a photograph of someone walking the Overland is not the same as hearing the wind blowing past you as you walk it yourself. You can see in the documentary of the Franklin River that that's nothing like standing near the banks and breathing in the spray when you're standing near the roar of the rapids.

National Landscapes brings that together and says to the people of the world this is a place, an environment of forests, of grasslands, of rivers like nothing else on earth. It's a place that when you come here you don't think for a minute you're experiencing it if your plane out is organised in a couple of days time.

Come, journey, stay, breathe it in and then tell your friends to come back.