Access to takayna Trail revoked without "true" land owners' consent

 A runner at the takayna Trail event. Picture: Tim Cooper
A runner at the takayna Trail event. Picture: Tim Cooper

Blocking a marathon normally held in a forestry zone to raise money for logging and mining protests is "ludicrous", says the Aboriginal Land Council of Tasmania (ALCT).

The council was taking a swipe at a decision by Sustainable Timber Tasmania, in which it revoked permission for the Bob Brown Foundation to use land in the takayna/Tarkine area for its annual Ultra marathon fundraiser.

ALCT manager Rebecca Digney said the government forestry body should have contacted the council before making such a decision.

"It is our view that the public are welcome to access our lands for recreational purposes provided they respect the land, its history and the rights of the Aboriginal owners," she said.

"We would have said 'yes' to the Bob Brown request as we would have to other sections of the Tasmanian public.

"takayna is Aboriginal land. Our people were slaughtered so that white groups could get free access to our lands.

All of Tasmania is Aboriginal land.

Rebecca Digney

"While the government refuses to acknowledge how it came to receive 'crown land', we do hope that Sustainable Timber takes a more responsible and moral position by acknowledging the true owners of the lands."

When asked for comment on the situation, an STT spokesperson repeated the same lines from last week's announcement.

"Sustainable Timber Tasmania has advised the organisers of a trail running event that it does not provide land manager's consent for their event to occur on Permanent Timber Production Zone land," they said.

"The organiser currently conducts and has a history of conducting unsafe and unauthorised activity on Permanent Timber Production Zone land.

"The publicly advertised primary purpose for this event is to raise money to support activities hindering the management of Permanent Timber Production Zone land and therefore is not supported by Sustainable Timber Tasmania."

Ms Digney said the situation "defies belief".

"It seems ludicrous that the state government is bellowing about reopening the contentious four-wheel drive tracks in the takayna wilderness, but, through its wholly owned enterprise, is willing to deny those Tasmanian's carrying out environmentally sustainable activities ... access to the same area."

This story Blocking forestry protest runners declared 'ludicrous' first appeared on The Advocate.