A 10 m cascade on the Venture Minerals proposed open cut tin mine site, Mt Lindsay, Tarkine. Photo by Rob Blakers.
In the wake of the announcement* yesterday of Federal and State money being used for a "search" for the new, iconic North West wilderness tourism experience, Australian Greens tourism spokesperson, Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, has called out Labor governments on their hypocritical short-sightedness.
"If Labor really wants to revitalise tourism in the North West then they should open their eyes to what the rest of the world has already recognised - the Tarkine is one of the best, and last remaining great wilderness areas in the world.
“If this area had been given Heritage Listing and became a national park, it would be all the certainty business needed to invest in the future of tourism in North West Tasmania.
"Instead Labor put short term jobs and corporate profits ahead of protecting the Tarkine - throwing away 10 years of hard work on heritage listing - and putting at risk the critically endangered Tasmanian devil and large tracts of unprotected Gondwana rain forests.
"Even former senior Labor figure Carmen Lawrence has said she is very disappointed Environment Minister Tony Burke ruled out natural heritage listing for the Tarkine wilderness saying only this past week on ABC radio that the Tarkine’s temperate rainforests are 'exceptional in beauty and in rarity' and that 'if we don’t cherish these places and value them and protect the values for future generations, frankly we are vandals.'
"I welcome and will continue to advocate for increased funding of projects to support and market Tasmania's tourism industry.
"However, given how Labor has handed over the Tarkine to the miners, their claims to now be spending taxpayer funds ‘searching’ for the ‘new, iconic North West experience’ are a bad joke that just isn't funny for Tasmania or Tasmanian tourism.
* "Search begins for iconic new North West experiences" -http://www.premier.tas.gov.au/media_room/media_releases/search_begins_for_iconic_new_north_west_experiences