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Greens say Hunt should rule on Tarkine debacle

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt should halt all moves to re-open 4WD tracks in the Tarkine and undertake an immediate investigation of the proposals under his duty to protect Aboriginal heritage, Greens Leader Christine Milne said today.

"Mr Hunt has the discretion to investigate an action that could damage a heritage listed area," said Senator Milne.

"He needs to step in now and tell the state government to stop all work until it can provide detailed plans on rerouted tracks and demonstrate how they will not affect Aboriginal heritage.

"The part of the Tarkine that is heritage listed is the same area that is at risk if 4WD tracks are re-opened.

"A lengthy public consultation was conducted by the past state government when it closed these tracks because of damage to Aboriginal heritage.

"It is not enough to reopen tracks and say people will be fined if they cause damage. The damage is already done and a fine will not bring back tens of thousands of years of history.

"These tracks should stay closed until the state government can prove that Aboriginal heritage can be protected if they are re-opened," said Senator Milne.

In Parliament, Senator Milne lodged questions on notice about the Minister's role in assessing the 4WD tracks on 13 November 2014. The government is required to answer the questions within 30 days.

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