Updated: September 23, 2012
The message is clear – stop Venture from mining the Tarkine
The Wilderness Society has upped the ante in the campaign to protect Tasmania’s Tarkine from out-of-control mining development by joining forces with the existing community campaign and unveiling massive banners in front of a proposed Venture Minerals’ open cut mine precinct in the Tarkine.
Over 70 volunteers unveiled the message ‘STOP VENTURE!’ in a clear signal to Venture Minerals and its shareholders that the campaign is escalating and Tasmanians will stand up in the face of destructive mining in World Heritage-value wilderness.
The Wilderness Society has long supported National Park proposals and National Heritage nominations for the Tarkine and is ramping up the campaign to protect this incredibly diverse and unique region. This is also a counter to the provocative actions of the Australian Workers Union and the mining industry who are recklessly pre-empting the current national heritage assessment and pushing ahead with risky mining proposals.
Tasmania’s Tarkine wilderness has recognised National and World Heritage values that have been documented in previous reports and assessments. The Australian Heritage Council, the statutory body that assesses heritage values and makes recommendations to the Federal Minister for Environment, has confirmed the National Heritage Values of the Tarkine and has twice recommended the creation of a Tarkine National Heritage Area. There is a further assessment process that is currently underway and must conclude by December 2013.
Adding further momentum behind the World Heritage push, in March of this year a Federal Government report assessed the values of disputed areas across the state (including the area Venture seeks to mine) and concluded that "the Tarkine emerged as an area of outstanding heritage value of World Heritage signficance."
Venture and a range of other companies have plans to build strip and open cut mines across the Tarkine region. There are currently 10 open cut and strip mines proposed for the Tarkine over the next five years and another 56 licences for mineral exploration in the area.
If the AWU, the mining lobby and companies supporting the push to mine the Tarkine had any respect for World Heritage processes, they would immediately suspend all plans and allow due process of the heritage assessment to conclude before locking in these destructive proposals.
This would allow clear boundaries to be established while minimising the potential for controversy and conflict to flare across the community. What’s more, the industry, the union and the financial sector must realise that mining World Heritage value wilderness is a risk not only to the environment, but also to their investment.
Thanks to all who travelled with The Wilderness Society to the Tarkine to make this action a success and stay tuned for more developments – this is only just the beginning!
Sign our petition and tell miners to stay out of the Tarkine.
Support our campaign by making a tax deductible donation.
For more information, please contact:
The Wilderness Society Tasmania Inc
130 Davey Street, TAS, 7000 Australia
Phone: (03) 6224 1550 | Fax: (03) 6223 5112