Tas premier upbeat on iron ore mine future

The Tasmanian premier and a prominent national union head is propping up the future of the state’s mining industry.

Lara Giddings and the national secretary of the Australian Workers Union Paul Howes visited the Savage River iron ore mine in Tasmania’s west.

Giddings said the area had development possibilities as it is mineral rich, the ABC said.

“We know we’re sitting on around $11 billion worth of resource,” she said.

“We’ve just got to make it happen in terms of realising the benefit.”

Howes warned workers the industry needs to be alert for environmental movement.

The union boss said the union should continue fighting for jobs even though environment minister Tony Bourke prohibited a heritage listing for the Tarkine region.

“The Greens and environmental organisations are going to try to continue to attack the future of mining in Tasmania,” Howes said.

“They’ll continue to spread their misinformation, they’ll continue to threaten the Tasmanian community, they’ll continue to run the types of campaigns, which really are akin to sovereign risk issues in terms of future investment in these types of regions.”

Greens candidate and member of the Save the Tarkine group Scott Jordan concurred and said the fight for the Tarkine region was not over.

He said his group now has three different reports from the Australian Heritage Council confirming it has not given up campaigning for a national and world heritage listing of the Tarkine.

Jordan received death threats over Facebook for his campaign against Tarkine.

A pro-mining rally arranged by the AWU in Burnie last year drew more than 3,000 people including mine workers.

Another rally will take place at Tullah later this month, and is garnering support from both sides of politics.

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