Tarkine ready to drive tourism: The Advocate reports

The Premier, Will Hodgman said at the opening of the Tarkine Drive that it will raise awareness of the environmental issues and catches the spirit of who we are and why people come to Tasmania. "What has been arrived at has really built the community spirit, and it does demonstrate that you can have a tourism industry alongside forestry, mining and agriculture,” the Premier said.


http://www.theadvocate.com.au/story/3169753/tarkine-ready-to-drive-tourism/?cs=87

The Tarkine is open for business with the local tourism sector pinning their hopes for the future on the $23 million investment.

Premier Will Hodgman yesterday declared the Tarkine Drive project open, just days after the last work was completed.

It is the most significant development for tourism in the far North-West in many years, and Circular Head Tourism Association president Clint Walker hopes it will double the visitation to the region in coming years.

"In the far North-West what we have been crying out for is investment in attractions," Mr Walker said.

"It provides something new rather than just marketing the same old thing we have for 10 years or more."

Premier Hodgman said the launch of the Tarkine Drive couldn't come at a better time as the State celebrated record numbers of tourists.

"The Tarkine Drive will raise awareness of the environmental issues and catches the spirit of who we are and why people come to Tasmania," Mr Hodgman said.

He said the project had taken eight years from its early concept stages, but that was partly due to the high level of consultation with all stakeholders to ensure the sensitive values were preserved.

"What has been arrived at has really built the community spirit, and it does demonstrate that you can have a tourism industry alongside forestry, mining and agriculture."

Cradle Coast Authority's regional tourism manager Ian Waller said it was a great example of what can be achieved when groups work together.

"The Tarkine Drive had bipartisan support, there has been no political lobbying or point scoring, just a vision to make the Tarkine accessible to locals and visitors alike while protecting what makes it most special," he said.

The project included sealing of about 90 km of existing roads, replacing the Tayateah, Kanunnah and Rapid River bridges and upgrades for tourist facilities including toilets, car parking, interpretative signage and shelter.