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Council’s issue joint response to Tarkine campaign

Council’s issue joint response to Tarkine campaign

14 February 2013

Three North-West Mayors today issued a strong message in reaction to the Wilderness Society’s ‘Be My ValenTarkine’ Campaign.

The Society has organised a number of events in Launceston, Hobart, Melbourne, Newcastle and Adelaide to campaign for further restrictions in the area commonly known as the Tarkine.

The three Councils have produced images and videos using a similar theme to the campaign in an effort to send a united message of support for continued and sustainable development in the Tarkine.

Circular Head Council Mayor Daryl Quilliam said the fact none of the campaign’s events were being held anywhere near the Tarkine spoke volumes about local support of locking up any more areas.

“Just last week Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke announced his decision in regards to the limited heritage listing of the Arthur Pieman area,” Cr Quilliam said.

“Unfortunately some groups seem unable to accept the umpire’s decision and move on to a cooperative approach to finding the right balance of environment and economic activity.”

Burnie City Council Mayor Steve Kons said that Mr Burke’s announcement was well received at the Council.

“Burnie City Council desires to see the Tarkine as an area that balances the conservation of the environment with the need for the forest industry, the mining industry and the tourism industry,” Mayor Kons said.

 “We are most certainly feeling the love for Tony Burke this Valentine’s day! His decision provides both protection of heritage areas and still allows for the possibility of creating employment opportunities, which we desperately need.

“More importantly it provides confidence for investment in these important industry sectors.”

Waratah-Wynyard Mayor Robby Walsh said the Tarkine had a long history of coexisting activities and that should be able to continue.

“Minister Burke clearly indicated further areas may be secured as part of the forest peace deal and until that work is complete it is unnecessary and disappointing that groups such as the Wilderness Society continue to mount such campaigns from a distance,” Mayor Walsh said.

“Whatever happens into the future, we need to ensure that the Tarkine is an area that can be accessed for multiple uses as has happened for many generations.”

All three Mayors said the message was simple – the Tarkine is in our backyard, no one loves it more than those who live in it.

“Minister Burke’s decision will allow us as a region, and indeed a state, to move forward with confidence to grow jobs, develop economic and tourism opportunities and wealth diversity,” Mayor Quilliam said.