Assistant Minister for Regional Tourism Jonno Duniam has urged the Tasmanian Land Conservancy (TLC) Board to reverse its decision to shut down the nationally acclaimed tourism venture at Skullbone Plains.

“RiverFly’s standing camp at Skullbone Plains has been acclaimed at both the state and national level for its outstanding tourism values and is a terrific showcase of our spectacular natural environment in Tasmania,” Assistant Minister Duniam said.

“The TLC Board’s decision to not enter into a new access licence agreement with RiverFly at Skullbone Plains is wrong.

“I have written to the TLC Board today to strongly urge that they reverse this decision.

“The action of the Board means this nationally recognised tourism venture will no longer be able to operate, or share with locals, Australians or indeed international visitors the unique natural wonders of the area.

“Furthermore, RiverFly’s owner Daniel Hackett has advised that the Board did not invite discussions before it took this decision and has provided no substantive reason for the Board’s decision to Mr Hackett.

“This creates a perception of a lack of due process, transparency and probity on the part of TLC.

“It also calls into serious question the TLC’s ability to claim to be apolitical.

“Without any justification for the Board’s decision, it appears that the TLC is mirroring the partial views of groups such as the Wilderness Society and the Bob Brown Foundation when it comes to nature-based tourism.

“For decades, Bob Brown and greenies have been saying they want our wilderness and productive forests to be protected or used for tourism, yet have they have ultimately worked to have it locked away so no one can enjoy it.

“RiverFly has served as an upstanding custodian of the Skullbone Plain land, and is deservedly acknowledged for its outstanding tourism operations.

“To cease RiverFly’s tourism venture without explanation is wrong, and this decision must be overturned.

“Right now, our tourism industry needs and deserves our support more than ever, as it battles the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Now is no time for decisions such as this.”