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Protests continue at Tarkine mine after approval

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Environmentalists have said they will carry on with peaceful protests at the Shree Minerals iron ore venture until they find out why the project received re-approval from Environment Minister Mark Butler.

But Braddon MP Sid Sidebottom is unsurprised by the protest and said it was pointless.

He said it seemed conservationists have exhausted all legal recourses to stop mine development in the region, The Mercury reported.

“The action is an admission that, for all their bluster, Save the Tarkine have run out of legal means of denying responsible development in our region,” he said.

He also said mining has received support from thousands of North-west residents in Tullah, Burnie and Smithton.

Butler, the minister for environment, re-approved Shree Minerals' iron ore mine in the Tarkine after it was earlier rejected by a court earlier due to concerns on the impacts on the Tasmanian devil.

The Federal Court earlier ruled former environmental minister Tony Burke did not give "genuine consideration" to conservation advice on the Tasmanian devil.

Scott Jordon from environmental group Save the Tarkine said the purpose of the protest is to “bear witness” to the damage created by mining to the region and to the Tasmanian devil.

“We are not entering the work site but need to make sure the message gets out to the world about what is happening in the Tarkine,” Jordan said from Tasmania’s west coast.

“We are waiting for the Minister to release his Statement of Reasons in regard to his decision to grant the mine Commonwealth approval.”

But Sidebottom labelled the protest a stunt against a company that is following the law.    

Venture Minerals also received approval for its iron ore mine in the Tarkine from Butler less than a week after he approved Shree Minerals' mine.

It was approved with strict conditions attached to protect endangered species.

A hearing was held previously for  Save the Tarkine’s legal bid against mining at Riley Creek. The group claimed the mine approval did not properly consider the environmental impact of mining activity.

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