Plibersek coming to Tasmania’s Tarkine

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A departmental officer told Senate Estimates hearings in Canberra this morning that the Minister for the Environment Tanya Plibersek will visit Tasmania’s contentious takayna / Tarkine rainforest in November.

The Greens’ Spokesperson on the Environment, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, asked if the minister would see the rainforest, targeted by Beijing-based mining giant MMG for a toxic waste dump for its Rosebery mine, before deciding its fate. The official replied that Minister Plibersek will go there in November.

“This is positive news. It is essential that the Minister for the Environment see the rainforest, which is nesting habitat for the giant Tasmanian Masked Owl, to fully understand that MMG has options for its waste dumping but the owls and other rare flora and fauna in the forest have none,” Bob Brown said in Adelaide this afternoon.

“Scores of good citizens have been arrested for peacefully defending the rainforest from MMG’s earlier operations, so it will be good to have the nation’s most powerful environmentalist on the scene too.”

“We would gladly show the minister the heartland of the McKimmies Creek rainforest in takayna which MMG’s project threatens to obliterate. There is a win-win outcome here if MMG is sensibly required to take up one of the better alternatives for dealing with its acid wastes outside of the takayna forest,” he said.

Brown is in Adelaide for the premiere of the film ‘The Giants’, featuring Australia’s tall native forests, at the Adelaide Film Festival tonight.

“This will be news the premiere audience will want to hear,” he said.

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