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Burke allows mining in areas even John Howard protected

"Minister Burke's decision to abandon the Tarkine to the mining industry is not only a disgrace, but it's a crime against the environment." Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne said.

"What possible justification can an environment minister have for abandoning the environment to the mining industry?

"No doubt Tony Abbott is cheering as he would go even further and not only mine the Tarkine but reject any end to logging.

"If anyone had any doubt as to who is running the environment portfolio in the country they need look no further than the mining industry and their spokesperson Paul Howes.

"Minister Burke has rejected the advice of the Australian Heritage Council and should now release that advice which recommended that 433,000 hectares of the Tarkine be protected.

"With a federal election forthcoming the community now has an opportunity to demonstrate their outrage of the sell-out of the Labor party to the mining industry from one end of the country to the other.

"This is further proof that Labor is in the back pockets of the big miners. Labor has a terrible track record and have failed repeatedly to stand up for the environment.

"They have not only sold out the Great Barrier Reef to the mining industry, James Price Point to the gas industry, some of Australia's best farmland to the coal seam gas industry, but now they have also given over the Tarkine to the mining industry.

"Only the Greens can be trusted to stand up for the environment and uphold rigorous scientific advice and assessment.

"Whilst Minister Burke has listed a narrow strip for indigenous cultural heritage, the question now remains - what will he will do to protect it from the quad bikes and other off road vehicles which regularly trash the aboriginal Middens?"

"Sadly the tourism industry in Tasmania had a double whammy this week with the collapse of the Abt Railway on the west coast and now the loss of any certainty for promoting tourism in the Tarkine, a place of iconic beauty and rarity for both Tasmania and Australia." Greens Tourism spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said.

"Most Australians will think Tony Burke has got rocks in his head when they realise we only had one Tarkine in the world. This is short term greed against long term prosperity. Tasmania's future is with its competitive advantages which lie with its natural beauty and environmental values.

"This is another big win for the miners and another big loss for Australians. They should know better in this day and age -we only get one chance to protect the environment.

"We need to build on these values, not destroy them, if we are truly to have a future for our grandchildren."


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