Huskisson River

Mt Lindsay mine site

Sharyn Munro

I think that the shock — and disgust — at Tony Burke’s decision to throw the Tarkine to the mining wolves is still reverberating around Australia. Some places hold such irreplaceable value that to deliberately threaten their safe preservation for future generations is a crime, in my opinion. Not sure which crime: negligence at the wheel, grand theft — or vandalism, as Carmen Lawrence said.

These timeless places — the Tarkine, the Burrup, the Reef, the NSW Leard Forest, or Queensland’s Bimblebox Nature Refuge — are not being valued above short term income, trashed as if mining is the only possible way for revenue or jobs to be generated and a state to survive. If that was really a way forward, Queensland and NSW would not have been broke. 

This is happening all over Australia, as I saw on my 10,000 kilometres of trips to research for my book, Rich Land, Wasteland.

All extractive industries are being allowed to go for broke, and the Tarkine is not the only place in Tasmania in their sights.

I’m coming to Tassie soon to give a series of talks on the runaway resources boom, and showing the Bimblebox documentary, which is the complementary awareness-raising tool to my book. Bimblebox is partly about Paola Cassoni’s fight to save the 8000 hectare refuge from Clive Palmer’s China First coal mine, but also an overview of the whole coal and gas rush in Australia.

Paola and I may be small for warriors, but our battle is large. We fight to wake up Australians to what is happening, to shock them into action on behalf of their country and their planet. And for our grandchildren and yours.

Sharyn Munro’s itinerary

Wednesday 27th March 8:30pm: State Cinema, Hobart
Bimblebox documentary on our runaway resources rush, followed by talks by Senate Greens Candidate Helen Burnet and Scott Jordan of the Tarkine National Coalition, and Sharyn Munro, author of Rich Land, Wasteland—how coal is killing Australia.
Tickets $10. Book online at

Wednesday 3rd April 7pm: Supper Room, Cygnet Town Hall
Bimblebox documentary on our runaway resources rush with a talk by Sharyn Munro.
Entry $5 at the door.

Thursday 4th April: 5:30pm Hobart Bookshop
Talk by Sharyn Munro, author of Rich Land, Wasteland—how coal is killing Australia.

Friday 5th April: 6pm University of Tasmania, Burnie
Bimblebox documentary on our runaway resources rush, introduced by Senator Peter Whish-Wilson and presented by Sharyn Munro.
Entry $5 at the door.

Sunday 7th April 11am: Sawtooth Gallery, Launceston
Bimblebox documentary, introduced by Kim Booth MP and presented by Sharyn Munro.
Entry $5 at the door.

While Labor claims to be searching, the world has already found the Tarkine

In the wake of the announcement* yesterday of Federal and State money being used for a “search” for the new, iconic North West wilderness tourism experience, Australian Greens tourism spokesperson, Tasmanian Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, has called out Labor governments on their hypocritical short-sightedness.

“If Labor really wants to revitalise tourism in the North West then they should open their eyes to what the rest of the world has already recognised - the Tarkine is one of the best, and last remaining great wilderness areas in the world.

“If this area had been given Heritage Listing and became a national park, it would be all the certainty business needed to invest in the future of tourism in North West Tasmania.

“Instead Labor put short term jobs and corporate profits ahead of protecting the Tarkine - throwing away 10 years of hard work on heritage listing - and putting at risk the critically endangered Tasmanian devil and large tracts of unprotected Gondwana rain forests.

“Even former senior Labor figure Carmen Lawrence has said she is very disappointed Environment Minister Tony Burke ruled out natural heritage listing for the Tarkine wilderness saying only this past week on ABC radio that the Tarkine’s temperate rainforests are ‘exceptional in beauty and in rarity’ and that ‘if we don’t cherish these places and value them and protect the values for future generations, frankly we are vandals.’

“I welcome and will continue to advocate for increased funding of projects to support and market Tasmania’s tourism industry.

“However, given how Labor has handed over the Tarkine to the miners, their claims to now be spending taxpayer funds ‘searching’ for the ‘new, iconic North West experience’ are a bad joke that just isn’t funny for Tasmania or Tasmanian tourism.

* “Search begins for iconic new North West experiences” -

Earlier on Tasmanian Times: Buck Emberg’s three-part series on mining