By AFOP, Aug 8 2012 3:41AM
By AFOP, August 8th 2012
The timber and mining industry have been battling it out with environmentalists in the Tarkine forest region of Tasmania, Australia over plans to expand mining operations. The Tarkine is the largest wilderness in north-west Tasmania and is also the largest single tract of forest in the Southern Hemisphere, home to countless species including the eastern barred bandicoot. The region is also home to numerous Aboriginal sites and the area was listed as a National Heritage Area in 2009, in an emergency 12 month listing to protect the forest. However, this listing has now expired and the Tarkine remains open to new logging and mining concessions.
Two new mining leases have been granted by the Australian federal government, adding to the pre-existing 56 current exploration licenses, whilst other mining proposals are currently being assessed. Environmentalists from the conservation group the Tarkine National Coalition, among others, have been battling for years to see the Tarkine become protected with national park status.
The region which covers 400,000 hectares of temperate rainforests, rives and grasslands is the last refuge for disease-free populations of the Tasmanian devil, the largest carnivorous marsupial in the world. 28 species of mammal, 132 species of birds, 13 freshwater fish species, 11 reptile species and 8 amphibian species call the Tarkine their home. More than 60 species of plants and animals in the Tarkine are classified as vulnerable or endangered including the southern bell frog, the tayatea and the Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagle.
In order to resolve the issue of mining in the Tarkine, the benefits of mineral exploitation to fuel the Tasmanian economy and the benefits of conserving the unique ecosystem of the Tarkine will have to be weighed up against each other by the Tasmanian government, along with input from logging and mining companies and environmental groups.
International Bussiness Times Australia-
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1. Feb 9 2013 3:44AM by Margo van der Voort
Tony Burke, Australian Federal Minister for the Environment has decided to NOT protect the Tarkine forests, only a few coastal sites with Aboriginal significance will be placed on the National Heritage list. Now the magnificent place on Earth is at risk of being mined with Ministerial approval, applications for dozens of mines are waiting to be approved while 3 mines already have received permission. We now call Tony Burke the Minister of Ecocide here. What an outcry in these times of critical climate change which has effected every state in Australia and Tasmania had very damaging bushfires that wipes townships off the map.
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