Rosalie Woodruff MP | Acting Greens Leader
The Aboriginal Heritage report released late yesterday afternoon makes it crystal clear, the 4WD tracks on the takayna coast should not be re-opened. The Gutwein Government must clearly rule out re-opening them, and end seven years of effectively turning a blind eye to destruction of an ancient cultural landscape.
Being non-committal about the need to protect tens of thousands of years of Aboriginal heritage is not good enough.
The Liberals’ 2014 election commitment to open the tracks was an affront to Aboriginal Tasmanians, and sent a signal to 4WD users they should be able to access the heritage-rich coastline. For the last seven years many 4WD enthusiasts have taken that encouragement, illegally accessing closed tracks and irreparably destroying middens.
Enough disrespect has been shown, and harm caused, by the Liberals. If the Gutwein Government is serious about a Treaty process, the first step is to make a strong statement that the takayna tracks are closed for good.
The Liberals must also make a commitment that any proposal for alternative 4WD tracks does not compromise cultural or environmental values elsewhere.
The takayna coastline is a landscape like nowhere else on the planet, and it must be protected in perpetuity. In the upcoming State Budget, we urge the Liberals to fund additional Aboriginal rangers to protect the National Heritage-listed Western Tasmania Aboriginal Cultural Landscape.