Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr GUTWEIN
Recently bushwalkers on the Wilson River in takayna made an extraordinary find. A Huon pine forest of a scale not seen outside the remote Olegas Truchanas Reserve in south-west Tasmania has now been surveyed and studied and found to contain trees up to 3000 years old, trees seeded at the time the pyramids of Egypt were being built.
These mighty trees are not protected. They are within a mining exploration area and adjacent to the proposed Mt Lindsay mine, a mine that would destroy pristine rainforest and divert five creeks to build a tailings dam. The Wilson River Huon pine forest needs to be immediately protected and the Mt Lindsay mine proposal stopped. This area has huge potential for tourism and to give the town of Tullah a much-needed and sustainable boost to guarantee its future.
Will you, as Premier and Minister for Tourism, guarantee the future of these ancient forests -
Mr Tucker - One minute.
Ms O'CONNOR - You are pathetic, you are absolutely pathetic.
Mr Tucker - You are always complaining about other people taking too long with an answer to a question.
Mr SPEAKER - Order.
Ms O'CONNOR - Will you, as Premier and Minister for Tourism, guarantee the future of these ancient forests and Tullah by scrapping the Mt Lindsay mine to protect this global treasure?
Mr Speaker, I thank the Leader of the Greens for that question.
Mr SPEAKER - Order. The Premier has the call.
Mr GUTWEIN - I am aware of recent media statements by the Bob Brown Foundation regarding the Huon pine grove in the Wilson River Valley. The BBF has stated that the significance of this discovery means, as you would expect, that they do not believe that the Venture Minerals proposed Mt Lindsay tin tungsten project can go ahead. In fact, they called for it to be scrapped, stating that the proposal sits within the same catchment.
In reality, as I understand it, the proposed Mt Lindsay mine is located to the south west of the Wilson River, in the Pieman catchment, not the Wilson Alfred catchment, where the Huon pine is grove located. That is my advice.
I am advised that the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service is aware of the stand of Huon pines in the Meredith Range Regional Reserve and acknowledges its significance. As it is of significant value, the stand is protected under reserve status under the Nature Conservation Act and will be specifically considered in the management of any activity or event in the area that might threaten the stand.
That is the advice which I believe the member was seeking from me. I am not sure what your point is, to be honest. We are aware of it and as I have said, as it is of a significant value. The stand is protected under reserve status under the Nature Conservation Act. It would be specifically considered in the management of any activity or event in the area that might threaten the stand.