Today's World Heritage listing of high conservation value forests on the eastern boundary of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area has been a long-time coming and will be celebrated by conservationists across the generations, Australian Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne said.
"It's fantastic that after so many years of campaigning conservationists around Tasmania, and indeed the world, can celebrate the protection of these magnificent wild forests that contain the tallest flowering plants on earth and an array of wonderful wildlife," Senator Milne said.
"In recognising the decades of work of conservationists I want to pay tribute to the late Helen Gee who was involved for 40-plus years and whose book For the Forests is a wealth of information on all those people who, in many cases, put their bodies in front of the bulldozers.
"We can all smile broadly knowing that at last these Tasmania's forests of outstanding universal value are now protected for all time.
"Bob Brown and I tried to get these forests listed in 1989 but then Premier Michael Field and David Llewellyn actively blocked their inclusion and drew irrational boundaries which have plagued conservation efforts ever since. For the last 25 years, the Liberal and Labor parties have refused to protect these high-conservation value forests and the Tasmanian Aboriginal cultural heritage within. At last, that period is over.
"In parallel with the IGA process, Bob Brown and I worked with Minister Tony Burke to develop this extension and to get this World Heritage nomination in by 8 February this year so that it could be decided ahead of the federal election.
"I am pleased Labor has committed to investigating and recognising the Tasmanian Aboriginal heritage in the new World Heritage areas to add to global understanding and appreciation of Tasmanian World Heritage Area which is a site listed for both its natural and cultural heritage" Senator Milne said.