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Whiteley must make amends for 'immature' comment on Tarkine

Media Release
Peter Whish-Wilson 12 Dec 2014

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said, "Yesterday a recently retired regional manager sounded the alarm by saying the move to reopen 4WD tracks in National Heritage areas of the Tarkine coast would damage more priceless Aboriginal sites.

"The Tarkine coastline was listed as a Cultural Heritage Landscape of National Significance because of its incredible Aboriginal history and yet it is being opened up for destruction.

"Brett Whiteley, the Member for Braddon, said that those who oppose the destruction of Aboriginal heritage in the Tarkine are 'fringe groups'.

"Mr Whiteley says his government has a mandate to allow this destruction.

"No government has a mandate to greenlight the destruction of Aboriginal heritage.

"No government has a right to say it's ok to destroy this amazing legacy.

"Instead the Government has an obligation to prevent the destruction of Aboriginal heritage.

"The Government has a moral and legal obligation to consult with the local Aboriginal community.

"But instead of consulting with the Aboriginal community, we have Brett Whiteley offering megaphone criticism of them via the media.

"Brett Whiteley should immediately apologise directly to local Aboriginal groups for this immature and clumsy statement.

"Greg Hunt should act in good faith, apply Federal environmental laws and immediately call in this development for proper heritage assessment together with consultation with local Aboriginal groups," Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.

Media Contact: Tim Beshara 0409164603

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