Maps show 'pristine wilderness'

ENVIRONMENT groups are calling for federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt to withdraw his submission to the World Heritage Committee after maps of areas sought to be de-listed were released.

Mr Hunt has asked that 117 areas added last year be de-listed because they "diminish the overall areas".

Wilderness Society spokesman Vica Bayley yesterday released photographs of several areas set for de-listing that showed pristine wilderness and rain forests.

"These images demonstrate what is at stake with Mr Hunt's plan to undo World Heritage protection to allow new logging in areas like the Upper Florentine, Weld and Great Western Tiers," he said.

But the Liberal Party claims the areas are "logged and significantly degraded" and should not have been added.

State Opposition Leader Will Hodgman said he wouldn't order logging in de-listed World Heritage areas, but would welcome it.

"It's a matter for Forestry Tasmania," Mr Hodgman said.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture Senator Richard Colbeck said green groups were "deceiving the community".

"Green groups on one hand claim native forest harvesting destroys the environment forever, yet on the other hand claim harvested forests are world heritage quality," Senator Colbeck said.

Greens leader Nick McKim said the Greens were "cautiously optimistic" that the World Heritage Committee would reject the federal government's submission to remove the areas. Mr Hunt said the areas proposed to be removed made up "less than 5 per cent of the entire property".

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