RECREATIONAL vehicle users have vowed to fight a 4WD ban on 30km of Tasmania's remote West Coast.
Furious recreational vehicle users have vowed to fight a State Government ban on 4WDs along a 30km stretch of Tasmania's remote West Coast, The Mercury reports.
"We won't be denied access to the area south of Sandy Cape to Pieman Heads," said former MLC Tony Fletcher, a champion of the Circular Head community.
Mr Fletcher said yesterday the decision by Environment, Parks and Heritage Minister Brian Wightman to close down more than 44 four-wheel-drive tracks and motorcycle routes in the Arthur-Pieman area showed wanton disregard for more than a century's worth of camping, fishing and recreational culture.
He said fences, signposts and good management were needed in sensitive areas not bans. Much of that could be done by volunteers.
"In a democracy, the people will have their say. The will of the people will come to the top," he said.
"The minister if he doesn't change his mind is taking a very short-term view of [political] life."
Mr Wightman yesterday accepted the recommendations of the Arthur Pieman Conservational Area Sustainable Recreational Vehicle Access report, and announced the changes due to come into effect on July 1.
His decision also angered environmental groups.
The Tarkine National Coalition found it unacceptable that vehicles still were allowed through the territory of threatened species, as well as areas with some of Australia's richest Aboriginal heritage.
Coalition spokesman Scott Jordan said the Government was in fact reopening 13 tracks that had been closed under the statutory Arthur Pieman Conservation management plan in 2001.
Tasmanian Conservation Trust director Peter McGlone described Mr Wightman's decision as "licensed destruction of Aboriginal heritage".
"Permitted vehicles will also continue to disturb birds such as the hooded plover and the threatened little and fairy terns as they attempt to nest on Arthurs Beach, Kenneth Bay and south of Sandy Cape," Mr McGlone said.
However, Mr Wightman said the report had managed to deliver balance between natural and cultural values.
He also announced a fencing, signs and track rehabilitation project worth $2 million.
Read more on The Mercury.