Department of the Environment

Archived media releases and speeches

The Hon Mark Butler MP

Minister for Climate Change
Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Water

Tasmania's giants protected forever

Media release
5 August 2013

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Water, Mark Butler, today took the final step for the protection of Tasmania's Giant Trees and Tall Eucalypt Forests under Australian law.

Mr Butler signed into Australian law the new boundary for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, which was approved by the World Heritage Committee last month.

"From today, over 170,000 additional hectares of some of Australia's most remarkable world heritage environments are now protected under Australian law," Mr Butler said.

"This is the final and irrevocable step for the protection of Tasmania's majestic old growth forests in the Upper Florentine, the Styx, Huon, Picton and Counsel River valleys.

"The Upper Styx area contains the greatest concentration of very tall eucalypt trees, the world's tallest flowering plants, with many trees that are over 90 meters tall.

"These areas are now protected in perpetuity under the Australian Government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999."

The Commonwealth Gazettal Notice sets out the new boundary for the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and ensures its majestic stands of tall eucalypt forests, glacial landforms and alpine and sub-alpine environments and other world heritage values are protected.

"Protection for important new habitat for rare and threatened species such as the wedge-tailed eagle, the Tasmanian Devil and the white form of the Grey Goshawk are now also guaranteed," Mr Butler said.

"I would like to thank all involved with the Tasmanian Forest Agreement and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area boundary extension for their commitment, co-operation and perseverance during the long journey towards a sustainable Tasmanian forests industry and protection for its outstanding forests and other world heritage values.

"I would also like to acknowledge the former Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities, Tony Burke, for his hard work towards this environmental result."

For more information on the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area go to http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/places/world/tasmanian-wilderness/index.html.