Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke's comments ruling out a blanket heritage listing of the Tarkine owing to the presence of existing mining developments should be seen for what they are: yet another excuse to facilitate mining, Australian Greens Leader, Christine Milne said today.
"Minister Burke is raising a furphy in order to avoid his responsibility to immediately protect the heritage values of the Tarkine.
"The minister thinks it's "pretty hard" to argue that the Savage River mine be considered as having natural heritage values.
"Well, Minister, we wholeheartedly agree, which is why the Savage River mine and pipeline, plus a 500 metre buffer zone, have been left out of the current application for heritage listing sitting on your desk.
"The Greens and the Tarkine National Coalition have never called for the blanket protection of the entire area; what we are calling for instead is the blanket protection of designated areas that are proven as having significant heritage values.
"It's these areas that are at risk from nine current mining applications, and without immediate protection they risk losing their heritage values through development.
"Stop treating as fools the conservation movement which have campaigned for the area to be protected for many years."