National Heritage

The Australian government’s National Heritage list is a list of exceptional natural and cultural places which help give Australia its national identity. These include places that reflect critical moments in our development as a nation, places that reflect our achievements, joys and sorrows, and places that encompass Australia’s rich and diverse natural heritage. Our National Heritage List comprises natural, historic and Indigenous places that are of outstanding national heritage value to the Australian nation, and include such places as the MCG, Uluru and the Royal National Park near Sydney. Places in Tasmania already on the National Heritage list include the Tasmanian Wilderness, the Richmond Bridge, and Recherche Bay. Visit the Australian heritage list by clicking on the link: http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/

Save the Tarkine (Tarkine National Coalition) have formally nominated the Tarkine for the National Heritage list, and are awaiting the completion of a formal process of assessment for that nomination from the Australian Heritage Council. The Australian Heritage Council will then report to and make recommendations to the Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, who makes the final decision on listing.

The Tarkine was granted Emergency National Heritage listing in Decemmber 2009 by formenr Minister Peter Garrett, however this was lapsed in December 2010 by the current Minister Tony Burke. Despite the Australian Heritage Council (AHC) already recommending a 433,000 hectare National Heritage Area, Minister Burke has instructed the AHC to reassess the Tarkine. The reassessment deadline has now been extended to December 2013. The Tarkine is without any interim protection during this period despite wide recognition of the National Heritage values present in the Tarkine.

National Heritage listing for the Tarkine would be a fantastic step forward for protection of the Tarkine, recognition of its outstanding values, and would be a great boost for the local eco-tourism industry. The Tarkine is recognised on the Australian Government’s ‘Register of the National Estate’ for its outstanding values, and should be recognised on the National Heritage list. The text of the Tarkine National Coalition’s National Heritage nomination can be downloaded here, and you can check out the progress of the nomination by visiting the National Heritage list here (http://www.environment.gov.au/heritage/national/index.html) and following the links.

A refuge for the Devil

The Tarkine is the home to the last disease free population of the Tasmanian Devil. The Tasmanaian Devil is being pushed to extinction by the fatal Devil Facial Tumour Disease. This disease has been estimated to have killed 80% of the Tasmanian Devil population in the past decade. As such the habitat of the Tarkine is critical to survival of this iconic species in the wild. Threats such as mining, logging and roading place the future of the Devil at risk.

Ten new mines for the Tarkine?

There are now ten new mines proposed for the Tarkine over the next five years, and the campaign to prevent this onslaught of destruction is heating up. Nine of these mines are Pilbara style open cut mines. The first two companies to submit for permits are Venture Minerals for their three proposed tin and iron ore mines at Mt Lindsay, and Shree Minerals for their proposed Nelson Bay River iron ore mine.