Tasmanian Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson today calls on the federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley not to weaken environmental conditions that protect Tasmanian devils for the benefit of mining company Venture Minerals. This comes as peaceful protesters disrupt mining activities at the controversial re-opening of the Riley Creek Mine in the Tarkine.
“I have formally written to Sussan Ley to ask why she is considering weakening federal environmental protections at the request of a mining company.
"These conditions are there to protect our state's emblem, the Tasmanian devil.
“I urged the Minister to reject any overtures from Venture Minerals that would weaken protections for the devil purely to boost their struggling bottom line.
“Clearly, their project is marginal and not sustainable if they cannot comply with the very simple conditions required to protect the devil, such as not operating and transporting ore after dark when the devil is active and most vulnerable.
“Tasmanians and Australians just won't stand for weakening environmental standards especially in such a special place.
“It's time that the Labor and Liberal parties understand that the Tarkine and its surrounding communities, their jobs and prosperity, cannot be tied to the boom and bust cycle of marginal mining projects that offer no long-term future.
"These opportunistic companies will come and go depending on how much profit they can make and they will never be a viable long-term option for Tasmania’s north-west.
"What I hear from the north-west community is that they’re sick of seeing outside corporate interests running farming, energy and mining projects as their only source of income and jobs.
“There are significantly more jobs in protecting and promoting the Tarkine than in trashing it.
"Declaring this magnificent wilderness a National Park and handing its management over to the Tasmanian Aboriginal Community is long overdue."