Tasmanian Times


Pallittorre land above the Liffey …


In 2010 I was advised that an area of re-qrowth forest adjacent to my property at 87 Mountain Road Liffey (also known as 12474 Highland Lakes Road Golden Valley) was to be logged. This was labelled as BA388D and covered an area of 44 hectares.

The area contained elements of both European and Aboriginal history which Forestry Tasmania and the Forest Practices Authority had ostensibly ignored viz: an old sawmill and tramway, and numerous aboriginal rock shelters throughout the landscape including the access road from the Lakes Highway.

https: tasmaniantimes/2011/12/forestry-tasmanias-arrogant-trashing-of-aboriginal-and-settler-history/

After considerable debate with the State Government, FT and the FPA, and with support from The Wilderness Society and Environment Tasmania, a portion of the coupe was designated as World Heritage Area in 2014. The remainder of the coupe some 26 hectares remains as a proposed logging zone for Sustainable Timber Tasmania (STTas).

Recent History:

Over the past years I have become aware of the rich history of the Pallittorre Nation in the immediate and surrounding areas of the coupe.


Specifically, I have had direct interaction with Hank Horton and Greg Murray the local elders, who have jointly advanced the knowledge of their history to the local community.

This has occurred by the development of the Kooparoona Niara Trail along the banks of the Meander River at Deloraine and the frequent visitations and education of local school children to the rock shelters along the southern escarpment of Mountain Road – see map below.

Indeed, Hank in a recent excursion into the coupe area discovered a further rock shelter that I was not aware of. How many more aboriginal history elements and artefacts are yet to be found and identified as Pallittorre.

The Future:

The remnant coupe area of 26 hectares is designated for logging by STT in the current Financial Year.


You will note the ground logging activity is for “potential saw log retention”.

[The original FPP for BA388D categorically stated the “archaeological survey would occur post gravelling and burning”].

Given the current Government status of the “Review of the Model for returning Land to the Aboriginal Community”, I would have thought the focus of the Minister should be on this aspect rather than apocalyptic destruction of the history and the legacy of the Pallittorre in this and surrounding areas.


Accordingly, I request the Minister immediately declare the residual 26 hectares of BA388D be declared World Heritage Area designate with the potential for the entirety of the area to the south and east of Mountain Road be ultimately returned to the ownership of the Pallittorre Nation

This is supported by the elders referenced above who include their direct commentary below.

PALAWA (Pallittorre) Comment: 

Local Aboriginal Community, known as the “Kooparoona Niara Aboriginal Group”.

Hank Horton: as an Aboriginal person from the local area, and known as the keeper of Culture, and an Elder of the district, I would also like to state my concerns over the future use of this forest at Highland Lakes Road, Golden Valley, known as 12474. As this area is known for its rich Aboriginal heritage and Cultural values, as shown by those Shelters currently used by me and other Aboriginal community members for education and cultural purposes, these are located at 87 Mountain Road, Liffey.

Just recently we have also been able to conduct further “Aboriginal Heritage” assessments of the area both linking with this property and land on the other side of the Highland Lakes Road. These were carried out by a team from Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania (AHT) and consisted of professional peoples skilled and able to record and acknowledge the Aboriginal Cultural landscape & heritage values, located and found with-in the area during these assessments and surveys.

My Community (The Kooparoona Niara Mob) would NOT support any form of forestry or logging with-in this area, and would also be prepared to take actions that would ensure NO such activities will take place that will impact, damage or destroy Aboriginal Heritage Cultural landscape values and heritage.

Also, the local Aboriginal community is now looking at future career, employment and land-management options for the future, and these Cultural places and landscapes will be of high value for tourism and educational uses moving forward.  Please feel free to contact myself “Hank Horton, M: 0488 929 086, or E: hank.horton@outlook.com for any further information, or to arrange a meeting.


In addition, why would the Minister for the Environment (also the Minister for Forestry) wish to destroy this area which is the home of endangered species the Tassie Devil, Spotted Quoll, Masked Owl and Green and Gold Frog?

John Powell was Born in Rushworth Victoria; educated at Dandenong High School and Monash University; National Service during the Vietnam War; employed in oil/gas, water, and the resources sectors; proud Celt; protector of environment and Aboriginal heritages, stubborn and resolute …

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


  1. Russell

    October 20, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    There has been no answer from the pro-forestry group to my earlier questions about what happened to the European cemetery gravestones at the old Waratah Cemetery when the plantations went in around there, or about the historic water races, dams, etc. from the Fossey River via Bischoff Reservoir and onto the Mt. Bischoff Mine that FT and/or Gunns trashed.

    You’re very silent on these subjects, fellas!

  2. MJF

    October 15, 2018 at 2:37 pm

    Mr Powell, your story strongly suggests artefact presence, but now you distance yourself from that position. You now suggest is up to the traditional owners to identify one way or the other. You sir, have a weak case, and you put up an even weaker argument. You are certainly not advancing the AHT cause with this kind of reporting.

    I ask again, what effect is cutting down a few regrowth trees going to have on this site if known shelters are adequately protected ? If there are artifacts on the ground, they too can be managed. Proposing total exclusion is a nonsense argument which in all probability isn’t necessary.

    What’s the go with the MIS blocks ? They growing OK ?

  3. MjF

    October 15, 2018 at 11:00 am

    Thanks Mr Powell, for at least a civilised reply.

    I see no impediment to protecting occupied shelters but still no clarification on artifact presence. Are they there or not, and if so, what exactly has been identified ?

    And still no answer to the integrity of the site being already compromised by European saw-milling activities, Mr Powell ?

    • John Powell

      October 15, 2018 at 12:06 pm

      The artefact presence is for the Kooporoona Niara to identify as it is their land, not mine, but on reading the FPA Report from Ann McConnell she certainly identified such. Go talk to her because as an ex FPO you would know her.

      The entire landscape of Tasmania was compromised by European settlement. Ask Quamby and the Pallittorre who were massacred on the Quamby Bluff plateau in the 1830s.

      Is uspect you support 4WDs trashing the middens in the Tarkine as well.

      Go and look after your MIS properties on the western flank of Quamby Bluff.

  4. Carol Rea

    October 15, 2018 at 7:54 am

    As of March 2018 the Minister for Resources (Forestry) Guy Barnett is no longer Minister for Environment. That portfolio now rests with Elise Archer who is also Attorney General, Justice, Corrections and the Arts. So concerns about Masked Owls, Devils, Quolls or Green and Gold frogs should be addressed to her office.
    But interestingly in the last six weeks calls about the first extinction of a marine threatened species to the Minister’s office have been told to address concerns to the Minister for Primary Industries and Water.
    Ministers it seems are so overloaded they have no time or care for the smaller creatures, no time for a small Sea Star or perhaps Green and Gold frogs.

  5. MjF

    October 13, 2018 at 10:03 am

    Facts please. How is harvesting a few hectares of regrowth forest going to impact on indigenous land use that’s thousands of years old ?

    What management of indigenous occupation and use was implemented by European saw-milling promoters ?

    What are these artifacts you speak of Mr Powell, other than rock overhangs and suspected travel routes which are geographically based and selected ?

    Have there been stone tools and arrangements, modified trees, quarries, burial sites, rock carvings etc recorded ?

    Buffer and protect the rock shelters by all means. It’s easily achieved. Has occupation been proven as a matter of interest ?

    • John Powell

      October 13, 2018 at 6:16 pm

      Watch this space Martin, as I suspect Hank Horton Kooporoona Niara Palawa will be best placed to respond .. but you clearly did not read the entire article. FPA did a limited survey in 1990 and CONFIRMED the occupation of numerous sites in the area, and Hank has distinct knowledge of such. and more. Wait for the kadaitchaman – he cometh, I suspect.

    • Russell

      October 14, 2018 at 7:52 am

      How? By trundling heavy machinery all over the property.

      Or are you calling the Thunderbirds in to harvest using their tractor beam?

      Being a forester obviously causes blindness.

      Regarding “burial sites”, why don’t you ask FT or Gunns what happened to the European cemetery gravestones at the old Waratah Cemetery?

    • Russell

      October 15, 2018 at 6:55 am

      And why don’t you ask Gunns or FT about the historic water races, dams, etc. from the Fossey River via Bischoff Reservoir and onto the Mt. Bischoff Mine that they trashed?

      Forestry care SFA about history or sacred sites to make their annual losses.

    • Hank Horton

      October 15, 2018 at 5:01 pm

      We all know that past logging damaged irreplaceable Aboriginal Heritage, and the impacts are still the same today.

      Logging just a few trees will change the land. We know this is true because of past damage due to forestry logging works. Anyone who is silly enough to think these logging practices have changed are most likely employed in the industry.

      Any good level-headed thinking and educated person already knows that the impacts from any forest activities will only destroy our environment, and a chance of a good future for our grandchildren and future generations, aye.

      So STOP the bloody logging for good in Tasmania, aye. Stay away from my Aboriginal Cultural Heritage and landscape.

      Yours Truly.

      Hank Horton, M:0488 929 086 or email hank.horton@outlook.com

      • Russell

        October 16, 2018 at 7:21 am

        Is there any Sacred Sites protection authority in Tasmania like there are elsewhere in Australia? The NT is very proactive in identifying and protecting Sacred Sites.

  6. John Powell

    October 12, 2018 at 2:18 pm

    The above material was sent to the Premier and relevant Ministers on 5 October. One week later no reply has been received but got a supportive email from the Opposition Leader on 8 October – says it all really. Suspect the Kadaitchaman cometh for Will

  7. Russell

    October 12, 2018 at 7:20 am

    It’s also important to note that Quamby Bluff was where many Indigenous Tasmanians were murdered by the white invaders.

  8. Russell

    October 12, 2018 at 7:16 am

    In the Northern Territory, places of Indigenous significance have long been protected not only because of the importance they have to the Indigenous people of the region, but also because the NT Government has realised how extremely valuable they are to its economy with respect to tourism.

    The Tasmanian Government pretends to support the tourism sector here but they just don’t understand that it’s the raw Indigenous places of significance and beauty tourists come to see and NOT the pokies, plantations and potatoes.

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