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Time to nail down Government respect for UNESCO decision



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24 June 2014

TIME TO NAIL DOWN GOVERNMENT RESPECT FOR UNESCO DECISION

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, welcomed the decision overnight by the United Nations to reject the Federal Government's application to reverse World Heritage protection for 74,000 hectares of Tasmanian forest.

“I am absolutely delighted with the decision of UNESCO's World Heritage Committee to dismiss the Government's bid to wind back protection of Tasmanian forests,” Mr Wilkie said.

“I also welcome the statement this morning from Senator Richard Colbeck, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, that the Government will ‘absolutely’ honour the decision.

“This should ease the uncertainty caused by the Prime Minister last week when, in response to a question I asked him in Parliament, he refused to rule out withdrawing from the UN World Heritage framework.

“Today I will lodge a petition calling on the Parliament to note the damage to Australia’s international reputation that would be done should the Government attempt to snub the World Heritage Committee’s decision.

“I will also lobby the Government to fund a full cultural values assessment of the World Heritage Area in cooperation with the Tasmanian Aboriginal community.”

For more information: Peter Tucker 0407 376 936