Minister for Resources Guy Barnett Response …

Premier,

On 5 October I sent you an email titled “‘Pallittorre Land Above The Liffey”.

You have not had the decency to acknowledge receipt or respond.

I did receive a response from Guy Barnett dated 24 October, which in part states :-

Thank you for your email dated 5 October …. I am responding on behalf of my colleagues the Premier and the deputy Premier.

This is an operational matter for Sustainable Timbers Tasmania (STT) which, as you are aa=ware is responsible for the management of the Permanent Timber Production Zone (PPTZ) including Coupe BA388D and I have referred your concerns to STT for attention.

STT acknowledges that sites of Aboriginal and European heritage are located on PPTZ land and manages them consistent with the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1975, The Forest Practices Act 1995 and the Australia ICOMOS Burra Charter 2013.

If you wish to raise this matter directly with STT I recommend you contact the Engagement and Land Manager …….

My response to Minister Barnett is detailed below …

Thank you for your reply Minister and I note the following.

  • You are not the Heritage or Aboriginal Affairs Minister
  • The Premier is ultimately the responsible individual in the Liberal Government and he and his office has not had the decency of acknowledging the message or providing a reply
  • The issue is NOT about STT it is about Aboriginal Heritage management in the broad
  • You should not have responded at all and I will refrain from criticizing STT or the FPA

Accordingly let me help you and the Premier understand …

  • This is an important issue for the Pallittorre
  • They have experienced (as have other aboriginal groups) disadvantage in managing and honoring their legacy
  • This is clearly identified by Pallittorre elder Hank Horton in the original email
  • He has indicated that the prior head of Parks and Wildlife Peter Mooney was a disaster for aboriginal groups (was good for Maria Island developers I understand)
  • Your reference to ICOMOS is intriguing as their review of Tasmanian Heritage Management (in 2015) rated Tasmania LAST in Australian States by a substantial margin
  • I understand that since PM was replaced by Jason Jacobi the situation has improved with five new jobs for Park Rangers and another five by 2020 – all aboriginal and guarding sites

But hear this please …

  • A recent survey has concluded that the zone between Liffey and Warners Track on the great Western Tiers is the most populated Heritage area in the totality of Tasmania
  • Hank Horton is attending a UNESCO Conference in Canberra associated with Aboriginal Heritage and this is the first time Tasmanian Elders have been represented
  • The summary outcomes are …… AHT (AHT.Com) Comprehensive Assessment of Aboriginal Cultural Values; this was started by doing the new WHA boundaries set out in 2015, and this also recorded many new Aboriginal Heritage sites and Cultural Landscapes. The AACV has also lead to the statement of Outstanding Universal Values now needed to be re-addressed. The WHA (original property) is now to be assessed for Aboriginal Heritage and Cultural Values, also adding those “Aboriginal Cultural Landscapes” as a part of the new Heritage assessments.
  • Hank Horton, is the Aboriginal rep on the NPWAC [National Parks & Wildlife Advisory Council] and AWHAC {Aus World heritage Area Advisory Council} and is the Co-chair of the AWHIN {Aus World Heritage Indigenous network} that also advisors the Federal Gov and ministers on the best WHA management practices and Indigenous Values and issues.
  • Cultural Landscapes: Again, these are acknowledged by ICOMOS & the UNESCO! As these Cultural landscapes hold the very History, Cultural values and should be ensured correct management.
  • Indigenous/Aboriginal: Cultural Engagement is also a huge issue and should be encouraged by all land owners, managers, and developers, when dealing with any new development or forest activities.

Premier for the first time in your entitled life (except of course for the pokies) stand up and be counted and implement the following …

  • Remove ALL the PTPZ areas in the Pallittorre cultural heritage zone from STT future logging plans and do it NOW
  • Instruct STT to desist from logging BA388D and other nominated coupes in the area
  • Fully support the initiative of Koooparoona Niara and associated employment and learning activities and all other similar across Tasmania groups, including provision of $$$ support in future budgets
  • Fully support GM Jacobi and Parks and Wildlife via appropriate policy initiatives
  • Meet with Pallittorre elders in the Yarning Circle in Deloraine and do this jointly with Labor and Green representatives and invite all media to attend
  • Encourage the learning of aboriginal heritage across all schools – I am sure the Education Minister will support
  • Propose to Parliament in the next sitting that Tasmania make a Statewide SORRY day on 30 June, the date of the massacre of over 30 Pallittorre at Quamby Bluff and hold a ceremony on site

IN SHORT DEMONSTRATE THAT YOU ARE THE PREMIER AND RESPONSIBLE FOR CULTURAL HERITAGE MANAGEMENT AND THAT YOU DO CARE!

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 …