Encompassing over 1.58 million hectares, the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA) occupies almost a quarter of Tasmania and is one of the largest temperate natural areas in the southern hemisphere. The area is formally recognised as a World Heritage property through the World Heritage Convention on the basis of three cultural heritage and four natural heritage criteria and is one of only two properties listed under the Convention for this many criteria.
The World Heritage Convention aims to promote cooperation among nations to protect heritage around the world that is of such outstanding universal value on a global scale that its conservation is important for current and future generations. As a participating nation in the Convention, Australia has agreed to identify, protect, conserve, present and transmit the cultural and natural heritage of the TWWHA and to ensure an appropriate management system is in place for the property.
The stunning and diverse range of landforms, the unique biodiversity, and aesthetic qualities of the area are enriched by the long occupation by Tasmanian Aboriginal people. The TWWHA has significant value in terms of its contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of all Tasmanians. It has important recreational, health, educational and aesthetic values as well as providing highly valuable ecosystem services and is a significant contributor to the Tasmanian economy, in particular through tourism and energy generation.
The property was first inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1982 and has been subsequently expanded several times with a major extension in 1989 and minor boundary modifications in 2010, 2012 and 2013. The June 2013 minor boundary modification added approximately 170 000 hectares to the TWWHA including additional areas of tall eucalypt forest.
Since inscription on the World Heritage List, the TWWHA has been managed under a partnership arrangement between the Australian and Tasmanian Governments which ensures the protection of its outstanding natural and cultural heritage. Day-to-day management of the area is the responsibility of the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service in the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE), although some smaller areas are managed by other entities, for example Hydro Tasmania. Currently, the majority of the area is managed in accord with the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan 1999 (Plan). This Plan is a revision of, and replaced the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan 1992. The Plan is now outdated and does not cover the extensions made to the TWWHA in 2012 and 2013. The Tasmanian Government, supported by the Commonwealth Government, has committed to the development of a contemporary management plan for the TWWHA.
A Project Team within DPIPWE has been established to oversee the formulation of the new management plan.
The first stage of the development of the new plan was completed with the development and release of a draft management plan. This followed an informal period of community and stakeholder consultation. The results of the consultation informed the development of the draft plan. The content of the plan also reflects contemporary understanding of management issues. The formulation of the draft management plan is a statutory process set out in the National Parks and Reserves Management Act 2002 (the Act). The Act required that the draft plan be made publically available to allow for representations to be made. The representation period is an important part of the process of developing an effective management plan for the TWWHA.
The minimum representation period required is 30 days. However, to provide a greater opportunity for thorough consideration by interested members of the public, this period was extended to 63 days (19 January 2015 to 22 March 2015).
A large number of representations have been received reflecting the level of community interest in the management of the TWWHA. On behalf of the Director of National Parks and Wildlife, the Project Team wishes to thank all those organisations and individuals who provided a representation.
The representations are a critical component of the statutory process.
The Director of National Parks and Wildlife (the Director) has reviewed all the representations received and has prepared a report which includes a summary of all representations, the Director’s opinion on the merit of each representation and whether modification of the management plan is required. This is known as the Director’s Report.
The Director forwarded copies of all representations received, together with the Director’s Report, to the Tasmanian Planning Commission (TPC). The Director's Report and representations are available from the TPC's website.
The TPC has reviewed the representations and the Director’s Report and has prepared a report to the Minister. The TPC’s report to the Minister is available from the TPC's website.
The Minister will now consider:
- the public representations;
- the Director’s Report;
- the TPC report;
- any representation provided to the Minister by the National Parks and Wildlife Advisory Council; and
- the purposes of reservation and the management objectives for any reserved land subject to the plan.
The Minister will make such alterations to the management plan considered appropriate and recommend the final management plan to the Governor for approval.
Director's Report Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions - Director's Report (283Kb)
The Reactive Monitoring Mission
The Tasmanian and Australian governments have been working together to meet the expectation of the World Heritage Committee that the TWWHA is managed in accordance with our obligations under the World Heritage Convention. The Department has been engaged in a productive dialogue with the World Heritage Centre and its technical advisory bodies (the IUCN and ICOMOS) and will continue to work with them to address issues recently raised by the World Heritage Committee. The Reactive Monitoring Mission, which consisted of representatives from IUCN and ICOMOS, which completed its visit in November 2015, was welcomed as part of that process.
The Reactive Monitoring Mission Report is available on the UNESCO website at http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/181/documents/
Draft Management PlanDraft TWWHA Management Plan (full document):
Draft Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area Management Plan (102Mb)
Please note, this is a very large file and may take some time to download.
Executive Summary only
Executive Summary - Draft TWWHA Management Plan (618Kb)
The draft management plan contains links to the following supporting documents:
PWS Cave Access Policy (2Mb)
PWS Fire Management Policy 2014 (218Kb)
PWS Fire Planning Policy 2014 (459Kb)
Northwest Region Strategic Fire Management Plan (2Mb)
Northern Region Strategic Fire Management Plan (1Mb)
Southern Region Strategic Fire Management Plan (2Mb)
Reserve Activity Assessment - System Overview for External Proponents (980Kb)
Walking Track Management Strategy Tasmania National Parks and Reserves 2011-2020 (3Mb)
Further updates on the progress of the project will be posted on this page.
For further information about representations and the process for developing the plan or to request copies of the plan, contact the Project Manager:
TWWHA Management Plan Project
phone: 03 6165 3068