Masked Owls – Plibersek urged to reconsider mine extension in Tasmanian forest

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Conservationists are calling on Federal Environment Minister Plibersek to refuse a mine extension in a northwest Tasmanian forest that includes threatened species.

Yesterday, Minister Plibersek opened a public comment period on whether a reconsideration of her original decision should occur, following a Bob Brown Foundation appeal.

“The proposed Tasmanian Advanced Minerals silica mine at Hawkes Creek in Tasmania’s northwest disregards the global value of the adjacent forest and wildlife,” BBF’s Campaigns Manager Jenny Weber said.

“The Tasmanian Masked Owl presence was being overlooked despite our scientists identifying persistent calls from the Masked Owl, including a pattern that suggests communication between several owls and the presence of a roost or nest site inside the threatened forests,” Jenny Weber said.

“Silica is abundant but these threatened species aren’t. The proposed mine area covers some previously logged forest and large areas of old-growth eucalypt, blackwood and rainforest. The forests are also habitat for Spotted-tailed Quoll and Tasmanian Devil. The Masked Owl is endangered under the Tasmanian Threatened Species Protection Act 1995,” Jenny Weber said.

The public now has until 1 August to comment on our request for a reconsideration of the decision to allow for the expansion of Hawkes Creek Silica Mine in northwest Tasmania.

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