Today at the Tasmanian Minerals and Energy Conference I have sent a resounding message to Green groups who are trying to get the Tarkine added to the World Heritage Area – enough is enough.
In my speech, I outlined our plan for Tasmania’s mining and minerals processing sector.
There’s no doubt mining across Australia has been going through a tough period. But with forecasts that most commodity prices will have recovered by 2017, we need to lay the groundwork now to fully capitalise on the upswing.
The Government is doing exactly that by embracing new technology and innovation, sending a message to investors that Tasmania is open for business in mining and working with industry to cut through the barriers and get new projects off the ground.
We are already seeing a number of positive signs, including a new Bauxite mine at Bald Hill, a mining lease issued to Forward Mining for the proposed magnetite iron ore mine at Rogetta and Unity announcing $5 million in new exploration work.
We are standing with industry against the latest campaign to lock up the Tarkine. The facts are clear – despite claims it’s all pristine wilderness, it contains our biggest mine, some of our best prospects, and has been a multiple use area since European settlement.
It also contains some big reserves to protect values that need protection – the Savage River National Park, the Savage River Regional Reserve and the Arthur-Pieman Conservation Area.
We are sending a clear message that Tasmania is open for business and we will not let green groups hold Tasmanian jobs to ransom.
The Hodgman Liberal Government’s number one priority is jobs and we are unflinching in our support of the mining and minerals processing sector.
Paul Harriss, Minister for Resources