You are here

Reckless, Desperate Liberals No Respect for Aboriginal Heritage

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Saturday, 9 September 2017

Tags: Tasmanian Aboriginals, takayna / Tarkine, Aboriginal Heritage

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

It is now patently clear the Premier is more concerned about the Liberals' prospects in Braddon than he is about 'resetting the relationship' with the Aboriginal community.

As a result of Will Hodgman's desperation and weakness, one of the world's richest cultural landscapes is under renewed threat from off-road vehicles.

The Premier didn't even have the courage to front the decision to seek Commonwealth approval for reopening takayna/Tarkine tracks, instead sending out his Braddon backbenchers whose only concern is to hang on to their seats.

Today's announcement is a slap in the face to the same people who heard the Premier talk up reconciliation at the historic launch of the Reconciliation Council a few short weeks ago.

Lip service, nothing more, nothing less. It is just a terrible indictment on the hollowness of the Liberal Party and so disrespectful to Tasmania's first people.

As a State, we have a responsibility to protect priceless Aboriginal heritage. 

In the past, sites in the Tarkine have been desecrated or destroyed by idiots who made their way into these sacred places in off-road vehicles.

While the majority of off road vehicle users are responsible, past experience tells us it only takes a few vandals on wheels to do irreparable damage.

The tracks in question were closed, on the basis of evidence and advice, to protect a cultural landscape dating back tens of thousands of years.

Will Hodgman is prepared to sacrifice that priceless, globally recognised heritage for votes.

We urge the Turnbull Government to put protection of the Tarkine's extraordinary cultural landscape ahead of the short term political desperation of the Tasmanian Liberals.