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Liberals Slapped Down by Federal Court on takayna/Tarkine Tracks

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Tuesday, 1 March 2016

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

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

The Hodgman Liberals have been embarrassed nationally by today's Federal Court decision to uphold the ban on re-opening off-road vehicle tracks along the takayna/Tarkine coast.

The Liberals, cheer-led by Adam Brooks MP, have been exposed as reckless cultural vandals who put parochial political concerns before protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage on the Arthur Pieman coast that dates back tens of thousands of years.

The Court's decision is an outstanding result for respect and common sense.  It's a significant win for Tasmania's Aboriginal people and fantastic news for the fragile takayna/Tarkine coast.

The off-road vehicle tracks in the Arthur Pieman Conservation Area were closed under the Labor Green government as a result of the reckless destruction of Aboriginal cultural heritage by irresponsible 4WD users.

The Liberals plan to re-open the tracks threatened this beautiful strip of coastline, rich with middens and hut depressions and human stories going back tens of thousands of years.

Today the law has caught up with the Liberals. And still, Minister Groom won't rule out appealing the Federal Court's decision.

Premier Hodgman has said he wants to reset the relationship with Aboriginal Tasmanians, all while his government championed vandalism of some of their most significant sites. The government needs to accept the umpire's decision now.

The Premier should welcome the Federal Court's decision and commit to protecting Aboriginal heritage in the Arthur Pieman Conservation Area if he is serious about demonstrating respect for the first Tasmanians.