Protect Tasmania’s Tarkine Forest

Target: Australian Federal Environmental Minister Tony Burke

Goal: To protect the spectacular Tarkine forest from destructive open-cut mining.

The Tarkine Forest is one of Tasmania’s most important wilderness areas.  With a massive leafy canopy and large expanses of undisturbed terrain this area is home to over 50 types of endangered plants and animals including the iconic Tasmanian Devil.

Unfortunately this pristine wilderness is being threatened by massive open-cut mines.  These mines are among the most environmentally obtrusive as miners carve giant open pits to extract rock or minerals.  The large gouge carved into the land is then expanded over time, the quarry growing until the desired stone or mineral supply is exhausted.

When an open-cut mine is deemed exhausted, a barren crater unable to return to anything resembling a natural state is left behind.  Often these craters are transformed into landfills; the heaps of trash a final insult to what used to be natural unscathed earth.

All that is necessary to prevent these mines from scarring the Tarkine Forest would be to grant the area “National Heritage” status.  At present this decision has been continually delayed despite several recommendations from world heritage organizations.

The reason given for such a delay from the Environmental Minister was that the Australian Heritage Council would require 18 months to complete their assessment of whether the location warrants the protection of National Heritage status.  This is especially interesting given that the completed AHC assessment was issued two months prior to the start of the listed timeline.

What those 18 months do, however, is afford Tasmania Magnesite sufficient time to secure Commonwealth environmental permits that would circumvent any National Heritage scrutiny.  These mining projects are also allowed to continue exploration drilling and associated access-road construction during this evaluation period.

There is no reason to forestall the protective National Heritage status any further.  Give the Tarkine Forest National Heritage status; protect it from destructive open-cut mining before it is too late.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Minister Burke,

As home to over 50 endangered plants and animals, the Tarkine Forest is a vibrant and pristine wilderness in need of protection.  The leafy canopy that comprises this beautiful forest must be allowed to remain intact and unharmed.

Unfortunately at present the forest is being threatened by the possibility of open-cut mining.  These massive quarry-style pits would devastate the land.  The open gouges of land hulled out to mine rock and mineral deposits will be left barren and incapable of regrowth when these mines are deemed exhausted and subsequently abandoned.

Attempting to cater to these mining interests will leave a long-lasting impact that extends far beyond minor fiscal gains they will afford in the short term.  The natural beauty that is the Tarkine Forest cannot be duplicated–once destroyed it remains that way.

Affording the Tarkine Forest National Heritage status is vital to the protection of this land.  The ongoing string of delays only serves to emphasize a focus upon mining interests over environmental protection.

The 18-month time period stated as necessary for the Australian Heritage Council is coincidentally just enough time to ensure all mining operations are able to obtain Commonwealth environmental permits thus allowing them to avoid environmental scrutiny.

During this delaying period the mining operations are also able to continue exploration drilling and the building of associated access roads.  Portions of forest are being destroyed by these mining operations before their intended pits are ever started upon.

I strongly urge you to grant this land National Heritage status today.  Protect the Tarkine Forest from open-cut mining and preserve this vital and vibrant land for the future.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Will Go Here]

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  • Alper Arslan
  • Alper Arslan
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  • Sandra Malbourne
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