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Saturday, November 12, 2005

Ocean Beach to become Conservation Area -

Ocean Beach to become Conservation Area - Judy Jackson, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Virtually the entire hinterland of one of Tasmania?s breathtaking Southern Ocean beaches - Ocean Beach near Strahan ? is to become a Conservation Area.

The new Conservation Area will cover almost 6000 ha stretching from the State forest at Macquarie Heads to as far north as the Little Henty River (near Trial Harbour). This includes the impressive Henty Dunes, believed to be Tasmania?s highest sand dunes.

Environment and Planning Minister Judy Jackson announced the decision today when releasing the outcomes to date of the Crown Land Assessment and Classification Project which systematically is assessing nearly 3% of Tasmania?s land area and recommending its future usage.

?The magnificent Henty Dunes are one feature of this large area which also includes coastal and sub-alpine heath, paperbark swamp and wetlands,? Ms Jackson said.

?The dramatic expanse of Ocean Beach and its hinterland are on the northern migration route for the orange-bellied parrot; the area is significant for the swift parrot and wedge-tailed eagle and also contains mutton bird rookeries.?

Ocean Beach also features in the coastal Tasmanian lifestyle for many families who enjoy the wild recreaction possibilities of the area between Trial Harbour and Macquarie Heads.

The Crown Land Assessment and Classification (CLAC) Project, which started in July last year, is about half way through its task of assessing some 7000 Crown properties in Tasmania. All these properties are either unallocated Crown land or Public Reserves under the Crown Lands Act 1976.

As at the end of August, 3,290 properties in 13 municipalities have been assessed totalling approximately 75,500 hectares. Suggestions for the future tenure of these properties have been released for public consultation.

Ms Jackson said that State Cabinet has now endorsed recommendations for properties in the first seven of those municipalities: Tasman, Sorell, King Island, Burnie, Waratah Wynyard, Circular Head and West Coast.

The remaining municipalities around the State will be progressively assessed and released for public comment over the next ten months.

The breakdown of the recommendations endorsed by the State Government to date is:

� 63,620 hectares will be reserved under the Nature Conservation Act 2002, predominantly as Conservation Area;

� 4,307 hectares have been allocated as Public Reserve under the Crown Lands Act 1976;

� 3,053 hectares may be offered for sale; and

� 1,096 hectares are to be transferred to local government.

Ms Jackson said that features of the decisions by Cabinet to date are:

� Many of the Conservation Areas to be created are along the coast or along rivers;

� Many of the existing Regional Reserves on the West Coast will be expanded by the addition of large areas of previously unallocated Crown land;

� In the Tasman municipality, important heritage sites are to be added to the Port Arthur Historic Site;

� In more heavily developed areas in townships, coasts and rivers are to be reserved but as Public Reserves under the Crown Lands Act 1976;

� Near Strahan, an area around the existing airport will be reserved as Public Reserve to provide for potential future expansion or reorientation of the airstrip;

� On King Island, the land occupied by the Council Chambers will be transferred to the King Island Council along with a number of other properties;

� The Waratah Recreation Grounds are to be transferred to the Waratah Wynyard Council as is the land used for the Somerset Recreation Centre;

� In Sorell, the Copping Oval is among the properties to be transferred to Sorell Council;

� A number of parkland areas in Burnie are proposed to be transferred to the Burnie Council;

� The sports oval at Port Arthur is recommended to be transferred to Tasman Council;

� A number of halls, recreation grounds and land containing Council infrastructure facilities are to be transferred to the West Coast Council;

� A number of sports grounds and other properties throughout the Circular Head Municipality are to be transferred to that Council, including the land occupied by the Smithton Sports Centre and the nearby Smithton Recreation Ground.

Full details of the progress of the Crown Land Assessment and Classification project are available at www.dpiwe.tas.gov.au/clac

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