NO MORE DELAYS IN PROTECTING THE TARKINE
Today, Humane Society International (HSI) Campaign Director Michael Kennedy expressed, “great concern at the continuing delay in the announcement of a full listing for the Tarkine Wilderness on the National Heritage List.”
The nomination was first made in 2004 by the Tasmanian Conservation Trust in cooperation with HSI, and yet some seven years later there has still not been a formal notification for inclusion in the National Heritage List (under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 1999 – EPBC Act).
Mr Kennedy continued, “That the minister did not take the opportunity to ensure a smooth transition from an emergency listing to a full National Heritage Listing, as he is now able to do, even though there would have been clear and positive Australian Heritage Council Advice to do so, is extremely telling.”
The most recent deadline for the Australian Heritage Council to advise the Minister on the National Heritage values of the Tarkine was October 29, 2010 (delayed and extended since August 21, 2009), and allowing for the 90 days the EPBC Act gives the Minister to assess this advice, the time for a positive listing decision is now.
“Mr Burke’s statement that `more consultation needed to take place with the community on the heritage values of the Tarkine’ is rather disingenuous,” said Mr Kennedy.
HSI was a key NGO player in the passage of the EPBC Act heritage amendments in 2003, and as a member of the inaugural Australian Heritage Council, Michael Kennedy pushed hard to see an assessment of the Tarkine undertaken. The Tasmanian Conservation Trust and HSI have also asked the Minister to prioritise the assessment and listing of Tasmania’s Great Western Tiers.
Mr Kennedy concluded, “There must be no more delays in protecting the Tarkine in the face of threatening and inappropriate mining developments.”