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Wightman’s hypocrisy on threatened species

State Environment Minister, Brian Wightman is misleading Tasmanians when claiming the government must do all it can to protect endangered species, Greens Deputy Leader, Christine Milne said today.

"Tasmanians will be outraged to hear that in the same week Mr Wightman is seeking a meeting with Minister Burke to try to prevent the heritage listing of the Tarkine , he is also announcing two days later that we must do all we can to protect our threatened species.

"With nine new mine proposals before his federal counterpart, and 56 active mining exploration licenses currently granted, Minister Wightman is placing the iconic Tasmanian devil, along with other threatened species, below the profits of mining interests.

"Mr Wightman's blinkered view of the Tarkine being an El Dorado of social and economic value provided it is dug up, is deeply flawed.

"The Tarkine provides a wealth of opportunity consistent with strong social and economic values by being protected. What of the social and economic values when the mines are spent, the devils gone, the environment ravaged, and the community left with nothing?

"This is clearly not the actions of an environment minister doing all he can to protect threatened species; it is just the cheap politics of a Minister telling the community what it wants to hear on this landmark day marking the 75th anniversary of the thylacine's extinction.

"Opening the Tarkine to unbridled development will sound the death knell for the Tasmanian devil, whose final disease-free stronghold is there among the region's mining exploration holes.

"The Minister must explain how he intends ‘doing all he can' to protect the devil, and the region's threatened species as he rolls out the welcome mat to developments that will destroy them," Senator Milne said.


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