Unions fight for Tarkine mining

The Australian Workers Union is fighting against plans to list sections of Tasmania's Tarkine wilderness as heritage sites.

The union is reportedly running a national television campaign against the heritage listing, which may stop mines, stating that it will cost jobs, according to the ABC.

It initially began its campaign in June, claiming that sweeping heritage listing would condemn the area to "permanent economic and social disadvantage".

National AWU secretary Paul Howes said that a number of approved mining projects may potentially be lost.
"In a state like Tasmania where you have had substantial drops in the size of the workforce, every single new project matters and there are some very exciting projects on the table," he said.

"We're going to make sure these jobs remain and we're going to make sure the myths and mistruths that are being pedalled are exposed for the lies that they are."

He went on to attack environmental groups.

“Workers told me they are fed up with the constant efforts by mainland environmental activists to damage their industries and wreck their jobs,” Howes said.

“They are frustrated by claims that resource industries cannot co-exist with conservation, when the Tarkine area has already been responsibly mined and forested for over 120 years."

Tasmanian premier Lara Giddings has come out in support of the union.

"All we're talking about is 1 per cent, that's what we're arguing about here is 1 per cent of the Tarkine region; it's nothing," she said.

"We cannot afford for the political interests of a few in the heartland of Sydney and Melbourne to dictate what happens here in Tasmania.

"We are already being criticised as being the National Park of Australia. We don't need more of it in that respect."

A CommSec report recently marked Tasmania as one of the economically worst performing regions in Australia, stating that it needed to be a part of the mining boom.

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