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Our Tarkine’s future depends on protection

"Mining the Tarkine is to Lara Giddings what damming the Franklin was to Robin Gray." Senator Christine Milne, leader of the Australian Greens said today.

"Both these premiers are so entrenched in the view that destroying places for short-term economic outcomes and minimal jobs that will fail to see that long-term protection is a far better result for Tasmania. The premier must not give in to Paul Howes' bullying tactics, dropping in to whip up anger to divide the community.

"Premier Giddings knows full well that the Tarkine has not only national heritage, but world heritage values.

"The 2010 leaked Australian Heritage Council report confirmed that the Tarkine has outstanding heritage values. It is the largest cool temperate rainforest in Australia,  a relic of Gondwanaland and home to more than 60 rare, threatened and endangered species including the Giant Freshwater Lobster, the Spotted tail Quoll, and the iconic Tasmanian Devil.  It cradles priceless Aboriginal heritage and globally significant karst systems. It is one of our last remaining great wildernesses.

"Minister Burke, in full knowledge of the Council's findings, caved into mining interests by refusing to renew the emergency national heritage listing put in place by Peter Garrett. If he does not now move to put in place an emergency heritage listing and do a strategic assessment of the entire Tarkine area, he will be responsible with Lara Giddings for its destruction.

"The new mines on the table are massive open cut proposals and provide comparatively few jobs for just ten years.  It is farcical to suggest that destructive open-cut mines won't destroy the Tarkine, which can be the foundation of sustainable long-term jobs.

"Tasmania's whole brand of clean, green and clever needs to be authentic; it is not a marketing gimmick. Every time national heritage and world heritage values are destroyed, dollars are taken off the value of Tasmania's tourism product and reputation, not to mention the many businesses and people in Tasmania who rely on our reputation as an environmentally conscious state.

"For Premier Giddings to campaign against the national heritage listing of critical habitat for the Tasmanian devil demonstrates once and for all that Labor can't be trusted on the environment. 

"It is still not too late for Tony Burke to act and I urge him to move immediately to protect the Tarkine."

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