An additional $12 million will be invested from the Nation Building Program to protect Aboriginal heritage at the Jordan River levee near Brighton.
The Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, Brian Wightman, said he had decided to sign the Aboriginal Heritage Permit for the Brighton Bypass to cross the levee on a four-lane fly-over.
“This decision will protect the significant Jordan River levee and enable further protection and investigation of the surrounding Aboriginal site,” Mr Wightman said.
“It is a positive balance that protects the levee and ensures a safe road for all Tasmanians.”
He said the single arched 70-metre span means that the levee will not be disturbed.
“This levee is a significant place, not just for the Tasmanian Aboriginal community but for all Tasmanians,” he said.
“I understand its value and the emotion that surrounds it; I am convinced that this is the best way to protect this heritage.”
Mr Wightman said he had visited the Jordan River Aboriginal site, studied all available information and met with the key stakeholders in recent weeks.
“A key consideration was to ensure the levee was undisturbed by these important road works and I am proud to have been able to deliver on that,” he said.
“This is the biggest ever expenditure to protect Aboriginal heritage in this state and that demonstrates the importance the Government places on the Jordan River levee.
Mr Wightman said the Permit will be conditional on a construction and environment management plan being approved.
“The levee is safe but we will also be working to further protect the surrounding Aboriginal heritage site, much of which is on private land.
“The Federal Government has agreed to unlock funds to allow us to negotiate to purchase some of that land,” he said.
Material relating to the consultation process and the Minister’s decision is available at www.dpipwe.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/WebPages/EKOE-8C63GE?open