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Liberals Determined to Damage and Divide on Aboriginal Heritage

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Tags: takayna / Tarkine, Tasmanian Aboriginals, Arthur Pieman Conservation Area, Aboriginal Heritage, Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader and Aboriginal Affairs spokesperson

Tasmanian taxpayers will fork out for expensive lawyers to support the Hodgman Government’s bid to persuade the full bench of the Federal Court that off road vehicles won’t damage priceless Aboriginal heritage in the Tarkine.

The decision to appeal the recent Federal Court decision on the takayna/Tarkine tracks makes a complete mockery of the Premier’s claim he wants to ‘reset the relationship’ with Tasmania’s First People.

This is not, as Braddon MP and cheerleader for trashing Aboriginal heritage, Adam Brooks, would have us believe, a move to bring ‘balance’ to management of the area.  It’s just politics, pure and simple.  It’s all about pandering to a narrow constituency to try to shore up the Liberal seats in Braddon.

If it were about actual policy or the legal ramifications of the decision, it would have been the Attorney General or the Minister for the Environment announcing the appeal today, rather than Mr Brooks.

The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre represents a significant majority of Aboriginal Tasmanians.  They want to see the takayna/Tarkine’s globally significant Aboriginal heritage protected.  They do not support the Liberals’ plan, yet their concerns have been ignored.

This decision marks a new low in the Premier’s relationship with Aboriginal Tasmanians, and it will come at significant taxpayer expense.

What a sad day it is when parochial politics is allowed to waste public money, divide Tasmanians and promote damaging Tasmania’s extraordinarily rich cultural heritage in the North West.