Plans for a federally funded off-road vehicle academy to encourage off-road vehicles in takayna’s Western Tasmanian Aboriginal Cultural Landscape National Heritage Area have been slammed by Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre and Bob Brown Foundation after ABC reported on this initiative on the same weekend as artists recorded illegal and unpoliced off-road activity within the protected area. The artists were taking part in Bob Brown Foundation’s Art for takayna field trip.
The Western Tasmanian Aboriginal Cultural Landscape was inscribed on the National Heritage List in 2013. It includes areas also protected under Tasmanian law including the Arthur Pieman Conservation Area.
“The Western Tasmanian Aboriginal Cultural Landscape was given national attention and protection due to the vast array of irreplaceable and ancient Aboriginal cultural heritage. The state is failing in its duties to protect the area and should therefore return ownership and management to the Aboriginal community,” said Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre Aboriginal Rights Campaign Coordinator, Nala Mansell.
“It is incredible that our governments can’t find money to fund policing and protection in the National Heritage Area but can find money to fund an off-road vehicle academy to put more vehicles into these fragile landscapes,” said Bob Brown Foundation takayna Campaigner Scott Jordan
“Claims of ‘responsible and safe’ are misguided and disingenuous. There is no responsible way to drive in ancient Aboriginal landscapes, and it is irresponsible to fund it.”