Ban cruise ships from our national parks
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Dear Tasmanian leaders,
Premier, Will Hodgman
Deputy premier, Jeremy Rockliff
Minister for environment and parks, Elise Archer
Leader of the opposition, Rebecca White, and
Leader of Tasmanian Greens, Cassy O’Connor.
We want to keep Tasmania beautiful!
On Friday 15th of December 2017, a large cruise ship, the "Diamond Princess" of Princess Cruises, was allowed to enter into the stunning Wineglass bay - one of the most beautiful and recognisable icons of Tasmania. The enormous ship strolled into the shallows of the bay and rotated to allow its passengers to briefly look around. It was disturbing the sand in the bay as it went, leaving behind a massive plume. This is the main attraction of Freycinet national park, where we should all respect and preserve the scenery by obeying "look but don't touch." Unfortunately this cruise ship is not alone and is increasingly becoming a regular sight.
This ship left an enormous footprint of fumes over the bay, walking tracks, and lookouts. It also stirred up an area of sand many times its own size, which didn't settle for hours and possibly killed and/or displaced marine life. It's disrespectful and heartbreaking to see. If this is allowed to continue, our gorgeous Wineglass Bay could be permanently damaged by these visits of Princess Cruises. The "Golden Princess" and "Majestic Princess" also visit the bay, meaning that it has frequent, destructive visitors and the marine environment has little time to recover.
There have been no reports conducted on the safety of the marine environment prior to these cruise ships entering. Strangely, Wineglass Bay, which is the star attraction of Freycinet national park, is not considered to be inside the national park. This is a major concern. It means that the cruise ships pay no fees, do not require permits, and have not demonstrated that they are safe for the marine environment - something which is of growing concern among scientists and environmentalists.
The ships leave a disturbance of the sea floor, possible anthropogenic emissions in the water, fumes over the land, and engine noise that can disrupt whales and dolphins on their East-coast migration route. However in addition to this, it is simply spoiling the natural scenery of the national park. The iconic view of Wineglass bay, which should be enjoyed by paying visitors, is being soiled by enormous cruise ships.
Let's get our priorities right and work towards the preservation of Tasmania's beautiful environment by banning large cruise ships from the waters around our fragile national parks!
Tasmania has been setting excellent examples for the rest of Australia in terms of environmental protection. Let's continue that trend by protecting Wineglass bay and Freycinet national park from massive cruise ships.
Sincerely, the undersigned
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