Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


‘Tassie’s ‘whitefella’ community says ‘not in my name Will Hodgman’’

• Hodgman’s Tarkine tracks betrays reconciliation on behalf of all Tasmanians
• Sequel to ground-breaking palawa kani election ad released with both famous and everyday Tasmanians
• takayna 4WD tracks not the ‘reset’ relationship the Aboriginal community wants

In a follow-up to the Australian-first election ad in Aboriginal language, white Tasmanians have come together to expose Premier Will Hodgman’s betrayal of them and their aspirations for reconciliation with Aboriginal people, though his destructive plan to build 4WD tracks across Aboriginal heritage on the takayna/Tarkine coast.

See the ad here: https://vimeo.com/256542711

The ad features well known Tasmanian characters like former young Tasmanian of the year Greg Irons (Bonorong Sanctuary and Tarkine Trails), Essie Davis (actress), John Kelly (State Cinema) and Bonnie Sveen (actress) and less well known people like Alice (student) and Craig (Wildo’s volunteer).

“When Will Hodgman says he wants to reset the relationship with Aboriginal people, he says it on our behalf and we want him to succeed,” said Vica Bayley, a seventh generation Tasmanian and spokesperson for the Wilderness Society.

“This ’reset’ can only mean reconciliation and we wholeheartedly support actions to make this happen, which is why Mr Hodgman’s plan to expanded 4WD tracks on the takayna coast is such an appalling and destructive action to take.

“Anyone who supports equality, land justice and reconciliation can only despair at the actions of a Premier so prepared to put cheap, political self-interest ahead of his own moral pledge to deliver a better relationship with Aboriginal people.

The ad will run across the final week of the election campaign and reinforce the message already delivered to Mr Hodgman in palawa kani, by an Aboriginal community with a strong, ongoing and unbreakable connection to their Country and Ancestral heritage, including on the takayna coast.

See the palawa kani ad here: https://pozible.com/project/protect-takayna-tarkine-2

“takayna is a special place that tells the stories of our people and has been recognised as one of Australia’s most important cultural landscapes by being listed as National Heritage,” said Heather Sculthorpe, CEO of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

“A small stretch of the takayna coast has been protected from 4WDs because it’s patently obvious these vehicles and their reckless drivers destroy irreplaceable Aboriginal heritage.

“Expanding destructive 4WD tracks on the takayna coast is a hostile step that makes a mockery of Will Hodgman’s promise to reset his relationship and lead white Tasmanians in a process of reconciliation.

“This ad demonstrates white Tasmanians share solidarity with Aboriginal people and want to see Aboriginal heritage respected and protected as an important part of Tasmania’s history.

“When good people call out his hypocritical behaviour, Premier Hodgman looks pretty isolated as a political animal that lacks the leadership needed to bring this state together.

*Vica Bayley is Tasmanian Campaign Manager The Wilderness Society (Tasmania) Inc.

*Heather Sculthorpe is CEO of the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre.

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. Russell

    March 1, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Re #4
    Why can’t the bogans use all the disused and abandoned mines?

  2. Doug Nichols

    February 28, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    Re #2 … Organised 4WD tours could work. Possibly even unsupervised driving with GPS tracking and drones, as you describe (although I am much more sceptical about that). But is that the way that stretch of coast was being managed before the tracks were closed? Is it what is proposed for the future? No – what existed before was unrestricted 4WD access with no limits on where anyone could drive. So people drove over middens, drove over areas where stone tools were cut, drove over untouched vegetation when a perfectly good track exists, and did “donuts” on marsupial lawns, ruining their beauty pretty well forever. They chucked their empty beer bottles into great piles under every bush along miles of coast. What I suspect most people want in future – and what most people imagine the Liberal party is intent on delivering – is similarly unrestricted access.

    People want to be able to drive their quad bikes down the coast and see how well they deal with the mud holes and the difficult terrain. They want to go down there and have parties. It’s a mindset that has no concern for the history of the area. That needs to change.

    The reason for visiting needs to change from a test of one’s driving skills to appreciation of the natural beauty and a desire to learn about the remarkable Aboriginal history that exists there.

    Until that is achieved, a ban on 4WD access is the only sensible policy.

  3. Peter Black

    February 27, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    @# … Good comment, Chris

  4. Christopher Eastman-Nagle

    February 26, 2018 at 1:14 am

    It seems to me that there is far too much ideological posturing about aboriginal culture and preserving everything in a designated area as off limits to everyone else just because someone says it is ‘sacred’, without saying just how sacred it has to be to qualify for untouchability by everyone else.

    Middens aren’t exactly the pyramids, but that doesn’t mean four wheel drive enthusiasts can’t pay to have them fenced off or otherwise secured.

    The conversation sounds a bit like the controversies that kept erupting whenever anyone tried to build build a railway into the interior of China in the nineteenth century. They couldn’t be built because they would inevitably go over the graves of revered ancestors. So the country’s transport infrastructure didn’t modernise and the results were 150 years of hideous.

    I am not a fan of four wheel drive vehicles, but they are as much an opportunity for aboriginal communities as a threat.

    Their input could be a valuable addition to the 4 wheel drive ‘experience’ where aboriginal guides can take visitors to their country, show them around, tell their stories and act as rangers to regulate the traffic, behavior and attitude of those coming onto that land.

    And if there are parts which represent secret business not to be viewed or trespassed upon by others, I am sure no one will mind as long as the boundaries are made clear.

    The four wheel drivers could be appropriately charged to employ aboriginal people as both showers and tellers, and guardians. And the community could have a substantial say in the routes that would have to be followed.

    Would be ‘bush bashers’ could be heavily fined if they didn’t do the right thing, and I am sure that at the entrance there could be an information center where everyone would have to familiarise themselves with the rules of the place.

    And just to underline that, they could take a peek at the latest drone technology that would ensure from the air that they observed them,something which could also be confirmed by the compulsory GPS tracker that every vehicle would have to carry at all times in the 4 wheel drive aboriginal park.

    It would be a win-win all round. The four wheel drive enthusiasts get what the want and the aboriginal community gets the opportunity to be involved, make income and participate in a cultural sharing exercise.

    Spare me the the blanket generalisations and let the rest of us know whether or not you are really interested in being a modern citizen in a multicultural milieu, and using your land and memories as a modern resource.

    Or are you going to wallow in disconsolate moping and resentment about the loss of your past for the next hundred years?

    Here is an opportunity to grasp the future, like the Chinese have done. They got through losses and suffering that make yours look like a walk in the park, but they got over it, moved on and are now carving out a new place in the world. So what is the matter with you?

  5. john hayward

    February 22, 2018 at 11:53 am

    Pretending a new-born respect for either the environment or aborigines only makes the Libs more contemptible, but that’s who they are. The one thing they aren’t is sincere.

    John Hayward

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