I've just written to the federal Environment Minister Tony Burke about the need to protect the Tarkine. My letter is below. Please join me - The Greens have a form on their website to make it easy for you. You need to send your email by 2 December when Minister Burke will be making his decision whether or not to include the Tarkine on the National Heritage List. See the Save the Tarkine facebook site for more info.
If more than 10 of my facebook friends, twitter followers or webpage readers send off an email to Minister Burke and let me know ( comment below or on facebook or twitter), I'll run a competition and one of you will win a weekend at our holiday house at Sister's Beach on the north coast of Tasmania, just an hour's drive frorm the Tarkine forests!
Dear Minister Burke
I live in Melbourne and have a holiday house at Sisters Beach on the north coast of Tasmania. My partner and I intend to retire there.
A key reason why we purchased this property four years ago was because of its proximity to the Tarkine forests and coasts. We have had the immense pleasure of visiting the Tarkine a number of times since, and look forward to many trips in the future.
I strongly believe the future prosperity of Tasmania lies in its natural areas remaining natural - both for their own right and also for their economic benefit to all Tasmanians, Australians and the citizens of the world. They are increasingly rare, increasingly valuable special places on the planet.
I am writing to ask you to immediately place the Tarkine on the National Heritage List, to ensure that any impacts to national heritage values from the mining proposals currently are properly assessed.
The Tarkine is the last disease-free refuge for the endangered Tasmanian Devil. I've yet to see a Tasmanian Devil in the wild - it's something I look forward to and something I hope my children and any future grandchildren will also be able to look forward to.
But because the Tarkine is not on the National Heritage List, damage as a result of mining exploration, including extensive roading and clearing for test drill sites has not been subject to any environmental impact assessment- yet your government has previously recognized that roading poses a significant threat to the Tasmanian Devil, and granted emergency heritage listing for this reason. Why won’t you do so now?
I call upon you as Environment Minister to use the powers available to you to ensure that the Tarkine and the Tasmanian Devil are afforded the highest level of protection. Please place the Tarkine on the National Heritage List, or provide me with the reasons why you as Environment Minister are placing the interests of mining ahead of conservation.