Thursday, 25 February 2021
Tasmania: takayna Trail ultramarathon
Before moving general business notice of motion No. 1041, I inform the Senate that Senator Whish-Wilson will co-sponsor this motion. I, and Senator Whish-Wilson, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) Forestry Tasmania has refused a permit for the annual takayna Trail ultra-marathon, scheduled for 20 March 2021,
(ii) on 19 February 2021, the Bob Brown Foundation filed an application to the Supreme Court of Tasmania against Forestry Tasmania and its decision on a permit,
(iii) the takayna Trail ultra-marathon, which has been held for the past two years, is a highlight of the national trail running calendar,
(iv) this annual event brings over 130 local, national, and international runners to Tasmania's takayna/Tarkine, and injects hundreds of thousands of dollars into regional Tasmanian communities,
(v) the original custodians of takayna have given their permission and support for the event, which will raise awareness of the cultural significance of takayna to the First People of this land,
(vi) the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre has backed the legal action taken by the Bob Brown Foundation against Forestry Tasmania's decision to refuse a permit for the event to be held in takayna; and
(b) calls on the Senate to join the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre, north-west Tasmanian communities, and the trail runner community in calling on Forestry Tasmania to allow this iconic annual ultra-marathon event to go ahead as scheduled.
The Bob Brown Foundation and the Greens only have themselves to blame. As has been advised, their activity was denied because they have a history of conducting unsafe and unauthorised events on land managed by Sustainable Timber Tasmania. In contrast, those undertaking safe recreational activities are regularly welcomed to STT managed land. Runners, bushwalkers, fishers, bike riders and kayakers are among the many users who have access and, importantly, provide support to surrounding regional Tasmanian tourism businesses. STT will always welcome events organised for those who do so safely.