Aboriginal Heritage

State of the State Coastal Policy

In July 2013, the Tasmanian government released for public comment a draft State Coastal Policy Statement. This is the first product in the development of the anticipated ‘Coastal Protection and Planning Framework’ intended to replace the State Coastal Policy 1996. Significantly, the draft statement aims to settle overarching principles of coastal management, rather than provide any detail regarding implementation or on-ground work – such detail has been deferred to ‘Phase 2’.

Tarkine National Heritage listing

On 7 February 2013 the federal Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (SEWPAC), Tony Burke, decided not to include the entire Tarkine (403,000 hectares were nominated) on the National Heritage list. Instead, Minister Burke listed a much smaller but still highly important portion of the Tarkine, the ‘Western Tasmanian Aboriginal Landscape’

Off-road Vehicles in the Arthur Pieman Conservation Area

For three years, the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) has been talking with stakeholders and the general public regarding the impacts of 4WDs and other vehicles on the sensitive Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area (APCA): it has hired consultants to talk with the community to do further assessments; it has summarised public comments, hold workshops to discuss concerns with the community stakeholders – but not one off-road track in the APCA has been closed. (See below, ‘Parks and Wildlife Service’s Chronology of Inaction’.

Off Track - vehicles appropriate in conservation areas?

The recreational use of off-road vehicles in conservation areas, particularly coastal areas, remains a controversial issue throughout Tasmania. This activity can have considerable impacts on threatened vegetation communities, coastal morphology and resident and migratory shorebird populations, and lead to the destruction of sites of Aboriginal cultural heritage significance, such as middens.

Brighton Bypass - bypassing Common Sense

There are alternatives to the state government’s proposed Brighton Bypass route, which would protect the important Jordan River levee site, satisfy the Aboriginal community, be relatively low cost and meet all standards required by the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources (DIER). So why has the state government dug its heals in and appears unwilling to avoid the destruction of this priceless piece of Tasmanian heritage while facing enormous public opposition?

Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area and Recreational Vehicles

The TCT has called on the Australian Government to intervene to stop recreational vehicle users threatening the immense natural and cultural values of the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area (APCA). Since the emergency listing of the Tarkine area as a National Heritage Place under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act in December 2009, which includes the APCA south of the Arthur River (the vast majority of the reserve), we assert that the thousands of recreational vehicle users accessing the area are damaging matters of national environment significance and are therefore in contravention of the EPBC Act. Without assessment and approval under the Act each and every recreational vehicle user is committing an offence.

TCT submission on proposed Bay of Fires national park

In October 2009 the State Government called for submissions on the boundaries for the proposed Bay of Fires National Park. It its submission, the TCT recommended that it was premature and inappropriate to seek public input regarding the boundaries for the proposed Bay of Fires National Park as Aboriginal concerns and existing management problems should have been dealt with first. Also, public input was never sought into the proposed boundaries or other potential uses for the area. Media coverage indicated most people were dissatisfied with the final national park boundaries.

Public Access at Preminghana (Mount Cameron West)

The issue of public access at preminghana always generates a high level of public debate. So, is it purely an argument of the right to drive vehicles onto a beach? No. The debate is about the right of a landowner to determine what is important and needs protection on the land and who may enter their land. The Tasmanian Aboriginal community is a landowner and must have the right to make decisions about what happens on the land it owns the same as any other land owner, Aboriginal or not.

New Approach to Arthur-Pieman Reserve Management

The Tasmanian Conservation Trust was involved with preparation of the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area Management Plan in 2002 and has participated since in attempts to improve management of the area. Frustration over a lack of progress in management of the area, even though most stakeholders have identified much common ground, culminated recently in the preparation and public release of a report by the North-West Environment Centre. The report points the finger firmly at the Parks and Wildlife Service as being responsible for holding up this process and makes some telling recommendations on how the Service needs to change the way it works with community groups.