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Don't mine the Tarkine

tarkine-devil-and-forest
Tasmania's Tarkine is one of the world's last wild places, a broad region of wilderness and rugged coastline. It's home to one of the largest remaining tracts of untouched rainforests in the southern hemisphere, and more than 65 rare and endangered species like the wedge-tailed eagle and spotted-tailed quoll. But if mining company Shree Minerals gets its way, the Tarkine could also be home a short-term mine that could endanger the last-known healthy Tasmanian devils in the world.

This isn't the first time this mine has come up against community pressure. When former Environment Minister Tony Burke first approved the mine, passionate locals took the Government to the Federal court - and won. The court found that Minister Tony Burke had made a "fatal" decision to approve the mine without due attention to the conservation advice for the endangered Tasmanian Devil, and overturned his approval.

Now, just one week later, Mark Butler might be about to approve the mine again. Use this page to write to Mark Butler, and urge him not to let the mine go ahead.

Departmental advice shows that the proposed mine development would likely introduce the Devil Facial Tumour Disease into the Tarkine's disease free stronghold.

Excerpts from Department-approved advice on the mine:

21. The primary threat to the survival of the Tasmanian Devil is Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), an infectious, malignant cancer spread by biting and fighting over food mating, establishing dominance or during juvenile dispersal. Populations in the north-west (including the study area) are considered the last stronghold that is disease free. There is a real risk that indirect impacts from project activities could increase the spread of this disease, endangering the north-west population stronghold.

47. The department concludes that based on the current information (final EIS), the proposed offset of part of the mining lease will be inadequate compensation for the loss of in excess of 150ha of habitat for the affected listed threatened species, particularly the Tasmanian Devil.

The greater threat to the Tasmanian Devil population in the Tarkine region is the spread of Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD). The Tasmanian Devil population in the Tarkine is currently DFTD free and further development in the region may accelerate the spread of the disease.

From the Supplementary Recommendation Report Nelson Bay River Magnetite / Hematite Mine, Tasmania (EPBC 2011/5846), Department for Water, Environment, Sustainability, Population and Communities.

18. The department considers that the proposal is also likely to facilitate the spread of the Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD) by promoting increased mobility and intermingling of Tasmanian devils, through increased availability of attractants such as anthropogenic food waste and roadkill, and through dispersal routes such as cleared road verges and other miscellaneous cleared areas. These potential impacts are difficult to quantify, but are considered to be significant because:
- DFTD is the key threatening process for the species;
- the proposal is in an area that is currently relatively unaffected by DFTD; and
- the impacts of the proposal contribute to the cumulative impacts of proposed and likely development within the region.

21. The FHPZ (fauna habitat protection zone) proposed by the proponent is not considered by the department to constitute effective mitigation or compensation for likely impacts – the habitat of the FHPZ is of questionable quality in comparison to that which would be lost, the security of the FHPZ is limited to the life of the mine, and inadequate consideration has been given to impacts on Tasmanian devils already resident in the FHPZ.

23. (In relation to the Tasmanian Devil) However, the department considers that residual significant impacts remain likely, particularly in view of potential cumulative impacts of development in north-western Tasmania,

27. (In relation to the Spot-tailed quoll) However, the department considers that residual significant roadkill impacts remain likely, particularly in view of potential cumulative impacts of development in north-western Tasmania,

31. However, the department considers that residual significant roadkill impacts remain likely in the case of the wedge-tailed eagle, particularly in view of potential cumulative impacts of development in north-western Tasmania,



-- From the Recommendation Report Nelson Bay River Magnetite / Hematite Mine, Tasmania (EPBC 2011/5846), Department for Water, Environment, Sustainability, Population and Communities.

Write to Minister Mark Butler

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