Archive for February 8th, 2013

Campaign update: 96% of the Tarkine is under threat

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Environment Minister Tony Burke has just announced that he’s backing down from protecting Tasmania’s Tarkine wilderness, ignoring the recommendations of the Australian Heritage Council and instead allowing mining to expand. Click here to write a letter to your MP asking that they support Heritage Listing for the Tarkine:

It’s not what we expected to hear. In fact it is far worse than even our worst fears.

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke has just announced that he will ignore the recommendations of the Australian Heritage Council who have recommended the Tarkine be protected and instead open it up for the mining industry. 96% of the Tarkine wilderness the Australian Heritage Council said should be protected will now face an uncertain future.

Now, Australia’s largest remaining single tract of Gondwanan rainforest could be dug up for short-term mines. Some of these mines will only operate for 2 years, but will leave permanent scars on the landscape. Earlier today I spoke to a tourism operator in the area, Darvis, who is devastated by the outcome; he’s built up a world class business which attracts visitors from around the world. But he hasn’t lost hope. He knows that you, along with the GetUp movement can help save the area – particularly in an election year.

Tony Burke said to media that “I simply haven’t been able to find a way to recognise the natural heritage values with a boundary that will find a balance.” That’s just not good enough. If the Coalition hear from enough people there is a chance they will move to do better for the Tarkine. Please write letter to your local Coalition MP now and find out where they stand on the Tarkine:

Last year GetUp members like Nicole lobbied their local MP urging them to protect the Tarkine – home to the last known population of healthy Tasmanian devils. A Liberal MP wrote back to Nicole saying:

“The Coalition is concerned about the health of Tasmanian Devils, not only in the Tarkine region but across Tasmania and is keen to see their well-being protected.

The protection of the sensitive environmental areas of the Tarkine is important and we understand the Government is currently considering the application for World Heritage listing for the area.”

It’s now up to us to find out where the Coalition stands on the Tarkine and the existence in the wild of the Tasmanian devil. {NAME|Friends}, can you please write a letter to your local Coalition or Independent MP and let them know that you support the protection of the Tarkine and ask for their position on the issue?

When you receive a response from your MP please send it through to us at and we’ll make all the responses public on our website – building pressure on all parties to do better for the Tarkine.

Our perseverance and determination can see this area saved.

Thanks for all that you do,
Paul, for the GetUp team.

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8th February 2013

5 things you might have missed

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It’s been a busy start to the year, but we’re back with a bumper edition of Five Things You Might have missed. Sophie kicks off the year with a round-up of what we’ve been hearing about, reading about, and thinking about as we kick off 2013…

1. January was brought to a climactic end with Julia Gillard’s unexpected announcement of the 2013 Federal Election date, to be held on September 14. Almost eight months out, speculation from every political pundit, young and old, has already begun to stir on the likely performance of our politicians in the lead up to the event.

Jane Caro laments the excessive focus placed on the PM’s so-called ‘Hipster’ glasses which, threatening to overshadow the announcement itself, has led to a flurry of witty memes about her new look. Is this a sign of the quality of the debate to come or are we simply getting the politics we deserve?

2. Sadly, a Happy Australia Day was not had by all as a result of the violent ex-tropical cyclone Oswald and flooding which ravaged the coast of QLD and North-Eastern NSW over the long weekend. New worldwide research headed by the University of Adelaide, predicts that the intensity of such extreme rainfall events are only set to increase in the near future as a result of climate change.

3. It’s time to face the facts and start a conversation, say those advocating for a permanent disaster relief fund for Australia. With frequent fires, floods and earthquakes now a fact of life, is this really an issue that we can risk putting off until the next rainy day?

4. There’s been light at the end of the rainbow for same-sex couples across Europe this week, with landmark marriage equality legislation passed in both Britain and France. With eleven countries now granting same sex couples the right to marry, it seems that Australia is slipping further and further behind.

4. Time is running out and the Australian Government looks set to receive a big fat ‘F’ on its report card from UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee unless significant progress is made on key recommendations, and fast. For a full account of the grief facing the reef, take a look at the article in The Conversation here.

Last Friday, the voices of 127,040 people were heard when GetUp’s National Director, Sam McClean, met with Federal Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke, to hand over the petition to ‘Save the Reef’.
The Minister may look cheery here, but we suspect he won’t be smiling when he hears what UNESCO has to say….

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8th February 2013