Former Greens leader Bob Brown has vowed to throw his support behind a campaign to stop mining in Tasmania’s Tarkine region.
Brown said yesterday that the Save the Tarkine group had its work cut out for it in trying to halt mine expansions in the region.
"It's a hard cause. I'm a patron for tough environmental causes," he said.
Brown said Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke had "thrown the Tarkine open to the mining wolves", the Mercury reported.
"Tourism and mining don't co-exist. It will damage the brand, it will damage the image and when you do that, people will go elsewhere," he said.
"The Lake Pedder road is an example of it – tourists are just not going there, they are going to intact wild areas."
Brown said he would fight to halt mining in the region "wherever I go", and was continually being asked to speak at business events and conferences. However, he said he would decline these invitations unless he could show footage of the Tarkine region first.
"I've got a three-minute clip of the beauty of the Tarkine under my arm," he said.
"You can't argue with a film of the beauty of the Tarkine."
Earlier this month, The Tarkine National Coalition lodged a case in the Federal Court seeking a review on Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke’s decision approving Shree Minerals iron ore mine.
Campaign co-ordinator Scott Jordan said Burke approved the mine without knowing the impacts it could have on the endangered Tasmanian devil.
"We will argue that Minister Burke has not acted in accordance with the provisions of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, and as such the approvals granted are invalid," Jordan said.
"This mine should not have received approval, and we are asking the court to rule against it. “
Debate erupted over the application for mining developments in the region last year, with Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke rejecting a National Heritage listing for the area.
Debate continues to rages between environmental groups who want mining developments halted and companies and potential employees who say opening up the Tarkine region to mining is crucial in the future economic prosperity of Tasmania.
Earlier this year, Tasmania’s Premier Lara Giddings said three new mining projects were expected in the region following Burke’s rejection of the National Heritage listing.
Giddings said she expected Venture Minerals’ proposal for a $200 million tin mine at Mount Lindsay to be approved, creating 1000 jobs.