Dec 19, 2012

Approval for a devil of an issue in the Tarkine

The campaign is well underway to protect the Tarkine's natural and cultural heritage after approval was given this week for the Shree Minerals iron ore mine in western Tasmania. The ANU's Andrew Macintosh writes on the politics and policy.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke yesterday gave the go-ahead to the Shree Minerals iron ore mine in the north-west of the Tarkine in Tasmania. It’s one of eight major projects scheduled for the region, and signals the start of what is sure to be a lively period in the campaign to protect the Tarkine’s natural and cultural heritage.


Leave a comment

8 thoughts on “Approval for a devil of an issue in the Tarkine

  1. michael crook

    does anyone now doubt that the ALP is in the pocket of the mining corporations. this is crazy.

  2. paddy

    Amazing & tragic! Still, it’s obviously a necessary evil, because Australia is so desperately short of iron ore to mine. #facepalm

  3. Microseris

    The sad thing is that there was never any doubt this application would be approved. If all proposals had to be presented and assessed cumulatively, maybe the outcome could be different. Then again with pro development objectives for both major political parties, maybe not.

    With foxes, DFTD, mining, logging, etc. the Tarkine and Tasmania’s natural values are being eroded away until they will be on a par with the mainland.

  4. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Tasmania is not the only island being administratively pillaged during the Xmas shut down. The Cockle Bay Transfer Station on Magnetic Island (World Heritage listed, part of the GBR), with critically endangered bat species right there on site, has just been signed over by the same minister with equally perfunctory dismissal. That means Campbell Newman can now assess whether any instruments of his government will intervene in the issuing of the mandatory State Government environmental licence. Basically, there is no one left at the Queensland EPA except the skip guy looking for his money for the dump fee.

  5. sparky

    Why is this, “and removing carcasses from the road every day”, little gem in the agreement?

  6. Kelly Goldacre

    Seriously? Less than ten extra vehicles an hour on a public road is

    difficult to reconcile…with the statutory requirement that the conservation of biological diversity and ecological integrity … be a fundamental condition in decision-making

    and evidence for

    the urgent need for an overhaul of the federal environmental and heritage laws and the re-establishment of an independent national heritage body that can ensure areas of world and national heritage significance receive appropriate protection


    Get. A. Grip. If this was carried to its logical conclusion, every second public road in Tasmania would have to be shut.

    A Tarkine National Heritage area covering “only” those parts of the region that are already included in reserves or for which there are no known significant commercial uses is still a massive tract, with more than enough room for multiple viable devil populations and much else besides. Even a ‘worst’ case development scenario would see less than 5% of the region affected by mining footprint, cumulatively, ever.

    Sparky, devils are scavengers, so they’d be attracted to carcasses left on the road, with obvious potential consequences.

  7. drovers cat

    I have lost all confidence in Tony Burke – sooner he gets shoved off this portfolio the better.
    Truckies watchful of avoiding roadkill – and pick it up when they do … yeah, that’ll work … laughable

  8. Hugh (Charlie) McColl

    Clearly, Coalition and Labor governments have no real philosophy about conservation of nature. The EPBC Act has been amended into irrelevance (by both Howard and Labor) and is now just a shell of its former self. The Minister has very little power because the loopholes in the act make litigation automatic and very difficult to win. So the minister makes the occasional pathetic effort (witness Garrett in Tasmania), departmental officers occasionally make something more, and even halfwit lawyers for developers can mow and slash their way to a profitable outcome with the Commonwealth usually picking up the legal tab. Conservation (let alone preservation and presentation) is only as pathetic as the electorate wants it in Australia. Honestly, most people couldn’t give a fuck, they think ‘bush’ is alien and concepts like conservation are like the Catholic Church talking about sin or manhood.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details