You might have caught the front-page stories about our campaign to save the Tarkine rainforest in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald and Age, or the detailed story in The Australian.
Right now the ancient Tarkine rainforest is under threat from being open cut mined. Thousands of GetUp members took action and challenged Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke to visit the area, to experience it for himself, before he considers applications to mine the area.
I just returned from showing the Minister around the Tarkine forest, and I wanted to give you the inside story on how the campaign is going. We recorded a 2-minute video of the visit you really should see.
I grew up on the fertile soils in a farming area of north west Tasmania. It’s a beautiful part of the country. Each summer, during school holidays, I’d work in the family business – bee keeping. We’d set off before sunrise deep into the forests, including the Tarkine wilderness. Our quarry? Leatherwood trees whose nectar bees turn into the most exquisite and prized honey.
Thanks to the campaigning of GetUp members, this week I had the opportunity to return to the Tarkine with Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke, on behalf of GetUp members. The Minister has to make pivotal decisions which will determine the fate of the Tarkine wilderness: whether it remains the second biggest temperate rainforest on the planet or is littered with open cut mined.
Watch this video and hear what impact your campaign had on Tony Burke after 3 days in the Tarkine wilderness:
The Tarkine is one of the last true wilderness areas on the face of the planet. Recent assessments by the Australian Heritage Commission and independent experts on behalf of the Government have found it to be worthy of protection and listing as a National and World Heritage site. But, Tony Burke has allowed the National Heritage listing to lapse which means miners can freely prospect in the area and any new mining proposals receive much less rigorous assessments.
Over the next 7 days Tony Burke has to decide whether or not to fast track assess two new mine proposals or put in place the National Heritage listing and ensure the mines are assessed rigorously and that their cumulative impact is looked at. Listen to what Minister Burke had to say about the Tarkine after experiencing it first hand:
In partnership with our friends at the Tarkine National Coalition and Enviornment Tasmania, who are leading the ongoing campaign to save the Tarkine, our community can make this a national issue and help protect an part of ancient Australia that dates back to Gondwanaland.
Thanks for all you do,
Paul Oosting for the GetUp team.
PS – Click here to read the full news article in The Australian I mentioned and see the impact of our campaign.
Yesterday’s article in The Age contained this great quote: "It would be ill-advised for the minister to make a decision before the heritage process is completed…It has already had emergency heritage listing once before, and the assessment that was undertaken by the council at that time clearly indicated the existence of values that met national heritage listing criteria." Professor Carmen Lawrence chairwoman of the Australian Heritage Council talking about Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke’s assessment of the Tarkine in The Age yesterday.