The Wilderness Society, Tarkine National Coalition, and GetUp! have joined forces in the campaign to protest the “out-of-control” mining ventures in the Tarkine in Tasmania and push for its enlistment as a World Heritage Site.
- Save the Tarkine rally in Tasmania. (Photo: www.tarkin.org)
From the campaigners:
Liz Johnstone, Tarkine campaigner for The Wilderness Society, said many of these values, however, are under threat from new open cut mines. Some are proposed in existing conservation reserves that have been watered down to allow mining and exploration.
Venture and a range of other companies have plans to build strip and open cut mines in the region, ahead of the findings of an Australian Heritage Commission assessment of the environmental significance of the area.
Paul Oosting, campaign director for GetUp!, said the Tarkine has evolved over 40 million years to be what is now one of the few last remaining wild places on the face of the planet, yet Venture Minerals wants to go into what is currently a conservation area and strip mine it for just 2-8 years.
“Today we have seen the Tasmanian community stand up and take action to not let this happen and we know that they have the support of people from around the country who want to see this area properly protected,” Oosting said.
Vica Bayley, campaign manager for Wilderness Society Tasmania, said that the event signals an escalation of the community campaign and a counter to the provocative actions of the Australian Workers Union and the mining industry who are pre-empting the current national heritage assessment and pushing ahead with risky mining proposals.
“The AWU, the mining lobby and companies need to back off and allow due process and the heritage assessment to conclude before locking in destructive proposals that threaten the values of the area and impact on the heritage listing that previous assessments prove this region deserves,” Bayley said.
GetUp!’s “Save the Tarkine” campaign
The action comes before Monday’s (Sept 24) Extraordinary General Meeting of Venture Minerals’ shareholders in Perth, where a decision will be made on capital raising needed to kick start its mines in the Tarkine.
“The company, its shareholders and financial backers must realise that mining World Heritage value wilderness is a risk not only to the environment, but also to their investment,” Bayley said.