Ring-in activists 'go home'

ACTION from city and interstate protesters angry about the Tarkine's national heritage rejection is not welcome on the North-West and West coasts, say the region's three mayors.

Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam, Waratah-Wynyard Mayor Robby Walsh, and West Coast Mayor Darryl Gerrity are united in their opposition to protest action taken by those who live outside the municipalities that either contain or border the Tarkine.

Environment Minister Tony Burke on Friday rejected the call by environmentalists, and advice from the Australian Heritage Council, to list more than 400,000 hectares of the Tarkine on the National Heritage Register for protection.

Mr Burke approved protection of two kilometres of coastline on the Tarkine for Aboriginal values.

The Tarkine National Coalition will continue to seek full protection for the Tarkine.

Councillors Quilliam, Walsh and Gerrity all welcomed the decision, saying it would give the region job certainty from not having the land locked out from mining and forest production.

Cr Quilliam, whose council lobbied Mr Burke against allowing heritage protection, said environmental protests by outsiders would not be welcomed in his municipality.

"If they want to protest, fine, we'll protest against them," he said.

"The majority of the people against the decision are not local people from the North-West Coast and many, in fact, live on the mainland."

Cr Gerrity said now that heritage protection had been granted, it was time for the environment movement to move on from the Tarkine.

He said the West Coast community would not stand for orchestrated "rent-a-crowd" protests.

"The people here are real people with real issues that impact on them in their workplace and at home," Cr Gerrity said.

"This is a life issue for us and just a cause for the protesters at a stage in their life and they'll get over it."

Cr Walsh said the umpire's decision should be respected so the North-West community could move on from the debate and work to make sure the environment and industry could co-exist.

He said he did not want to see either social or environmental values compromised for the sake of the other.


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