Australian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said today that Environment Minister Mark Butler's decision on the proposed Venture Minerals open-cut mine in the Tarkine is a political ploy in a marginal electorate on the first day of a Federal election.
"Minister Butler was always going to make the decision he made today for the same political reasons Tony Burke shocked the country by ignoring the Australian Heritage Councils recommendations to protect the Tarkine earlier this year," said Senator Whish-Wilson.
"It's a short-term political decision, made on the first day of the election, to prop up a Labor MP in a marginal seat - one made while expert opinions are still being considered in an appeal against the Venture plan in the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal.
"This open-cut mine would last two years with no long-term jobs for locals and it could leave communities with a terrible environmental legacy.
"Claims that driving open-cut mines with a two year lifespan into the Tarkine is the solution to long-term unemployment in Tasmania are simplistic, naive, and politically motivated.
"Why didn't Tasmania get a Tarkine national park, protected by heritage listing - the answer is that instead of looking after our environment Labor Environment Minister after Labor Environment Minister have backed corporate profits for foreign investors who only provide promises of short-term jobs.
"With another 4 mines awaiting approval, 10 being proposed, and over 50 exploration licenses in the Tarkine the whole area, and its devil population, is vulnerable to cumulative destruction from environmental impact on top of environmental impact.
"The Tarkine has been globally recognised as one of the world's last wilderness areas and protecting those values supports Tasmania's Brand and opportunities for long-term economic development in the north-west of Tasmania," Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.