The re-lodgement of the Tarkine Road for federal approval gives Environment Minister, Tony Burke, an immediate reason to finally put the Tarkine wilderness on the National Heritage list, the Australian Greens said today.
The Tasmanian government's withdrawal of the Tarkine Road proposal, which would have a devastating impact on the last remaining disease-free Tasmanian devil population, was given by the Minister as the key reason previous emergency listing of the Tarkine was allowed to expire.
"The Tarkine is a precious wilderness area that is under serious threat and needs urgent protection," Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
"A succession of Environment Ministers has been sitting on proposals to list the Tarkine as National Heritage for a record seven years. It is well past time to recognise this magnificent wilderness for what it is and protect it.
"Mr Burke is already facing a deadline of December 2 to list the Tarkine as National Heritage if he is to be able to consider its heritage values when assessing the first of several proposed mines.
"The Minister is on notice that, if he chooses not to list the Tarkine before December 2 he is actively choosing to prioritise mining over world-class natural and cultural heritage.
"With the re-appearance of the road proposal, Mr Burke has every reason he needs, if he felt he needed more reasons, to immediately move to protect the Tarkine and list it as National Heritage.
"No more excuses."