Braddon back-bencher should apologise to the Tasmanian Aboriginal community for her unfortunate and ignorant statements during Budget Estimates Scrutiny hearings in which she asserted that the name ‘Tarkine’ was “made up.”
“It is matter of historic fact that the Tarkinner, Manegin, and Peternidic were bands of the original owners of the Arthur Pieman region on the West Coast,” Greens Leader and Aboriginal Affairs spokesperson Kim Booth MP said.
“It was an appalling and sad display by the Liberal Member for Braddon, Ms Rylah, which the Greens hope was down to unfortunate ignorance, when she attempted to assert that the name Tarkine was ‘made up’ during the Premier’s Budget Estimates hearings this afternoon.”
“In fact it is as tribute to a local band of traditional owners, the Tarkinner, that people over the decades were inspired to keep the name alive, by describing the north west wilderness region as the Tarkine.”
“Ms Rylah may hold a personal beef with the concept of the Tarkine wilderness region, but she must acknowledge that by trying to deny the historic basis of that nomenclature, she is also denying the existence of a Tasmanian Aboriginal people, which is offensive in the extreme.”
“The Tarkine contains at least 30,000 years of its original inhabitants’ heritage held in the middens, the rock carvings, hut depressions and seal hides along the coast and through the inland pathways, which Ms Rylah cannot deny.”
“Ms Rylah must apologise for this offensive insult, and recognise that by denying the link between the Tarkine and the Tarkinner people adds insult to the very real injury already inflicted on the Aboriginal community,” Mr Booth said.