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Abbott Government rips up World Heritage nomination for Cape York

The Abbott Government is doing the bidding of the big mining companies and ignoring Indigenous voices by dropping the Cape York World Heritage nomination, as reported on today, say the Australian Greens.

"Traditional owners were close to agreement on the boundaries of the World Heritage Area, but Tony Abbott would rather give his big mining buddies open slather," Senator Larissa Waters, Australian Greens environment spokesperson, said

"Opening up the Cape to big mining will destroy its environmental values, and flies in the face of what many traditional owners want.

"By killing off the World Heritage nomination process, the Abbott Government is opening the door to a rush of mining applications that risk trashing the very values that qualify the Cape for listing.

"If the Abbott Government was genuinely concerned with Indigenous consultation, it would press pause on mining approvals in Cape York while communities finish their consideration of a World Heritage nomination.  

 "The international recognition of World Heritage listing would deliver long-term sustainable employment opportunities in tourism and land management for local communities.

"Cape York, one of the world's last remaining intact wilderness areas, is home to half of Australia's bird species, a third of the country's mammal species, and a diversity of unique habitats.

 "As well as dropping the World Heritage nomination for Cape York, the Abbott Government is also winding back the World Heritage listing of Tasmania's forests, which are home to some of the oldest trees in the world. 

"The Abbott Government obviously does not appreciate the intrinsic value of these globally unique places and fails to realise the sustainable employment opportunities they provide," Senator Waters said.


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