WHEN most people envision the Tarkine, they see a pristine wilderness in one of the most remote parts of the planet.
Hobart filmmaker Dan Broun sees all of that and more.
He wants to turn the Tarkine experience into an annual celebration, in the form of an arts festival.
Broun has joined forces with the Bob Brown Foundation in a push to make 450,000 hectares of the Tarkine a World Heritage Area and national park.
The project will see the creation of a 30-minute documentary – Tarkine in Motion – to push the cause.
While filming alongside 69 other artists over the Easter long weekend, Broun realised his long-time festival dream, which he believes could make the state serious tourism dollars.
‘‘There’s a long tradition of artists going to the Tarkine and doing their thing,’’ he said.
‘‘I want people to see that we can make an arts festival in the Tarkine region and bring real dollar value to that place. There is so much potential for a softer industry in that area. There is huge money in the arts industry and that isn’t particularly well known.’’
Broun believes soft Tarkine tourism can generate more money for Tasmania than mining and logging – a sentiment shared by Bob Brown Foundation campaign manager Jenny Weber.
‘‘The time is right for the Tarkine to be protected as a national park, providing a promising future for Tasmania’s economy and environment,’’ Ms Weber said.
‘‘This bright future stands in stark contrast to the current damage being wrought on the Tarkine by logging, mining and off-road vehicles.’’
Ms Weber said tourism was a more sustainable and logical option for the state government to pursue.
‘‘The mining industry has suffered a significant downturn due to the low iron-ore price. Companies have left a legacy of destruction in the Nelson Bay River and walked away from promised jobs. Forestry Tasmania is logging the world’s second-largest temperate rainforest at a loss to the public purse, and a tragic loss to globally unique ecological values as the Tarkine’s rainforests are a Gondwana relic.’’
A state government spokesman said the government supported the Tarkine arts festival concept but disagreed that mining and logging were unsustainable industries.
‘‘We would encourage any proposal for an arts festival to be made through the normal channels with Events Tasmania,’’ he said.
‘‘However, we do not support locking up more of the Tarkine as a national park and we do not support the advocacy intent of the documentary by the Bob Brown Foundation.’’
The spokesman said parts of the Tarkine were already protected.
‘‘It’s important to remember that there are already reserved areas in the Tarkine like the Savage River National Park, while the Cradle Coast Authority says 60 per cent of the entire Cradle Coast region is already protected.
‘‘The state government supports continued exploration and sustainable mining operations in the North-West of Tasmania.’’
■Tarkine in Motion will premiere at Sydney’s Head on Photo Festival on April 27.