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Barnett Gives Himself an ”A” on Salmon

13 Feb 2019

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

It’s laughable for the newest Minister for Primary Industries, Guy Barnett, to give the internal annual review of the Salmon Growth Plan a terrific score. The question on everyone’s lips must surely be “who did he speak to?” when he undertook the review?

Was it the Tasman Peninsula and Bruny Island community members who participated in the government’s hearings into the salmon industry’s massive expansion into Storm Bay? The same individuals who never heard a single word back from government in response to their evidence or their lengthy, science-based submissions.

Was it to the two highly qualified experts in fish health, environmental management and biosecurity, who resigned in protest from the Marine Farming Review Panel after it recommended approval for Tassal and Huon Aquaculture’s Storm Bay expansion?

Did he speak to the Derwent Estuary Program, who warned about the dangers of the Storm Bay salmon expansion’s six-fold increase in sewage load on the over-stressed Derwent river system, but whose concerns fell on deaf-ears?

What about the Southern Beaches community members, who participated in the massive flotilla on Norfolk Bay protesting Huon Aquaculture’s in-shore “temporary” farm? The same zombie lease that the government approved as a diseased salmon bolt-hole due to failed industry biosecurity management.

Was it to those residents trying to access information about the location of other zombie leases, and the management of seals by salmon companies? Those people whose every RTI has been rejected.

Minister Barnett’s claim his government has a ‘focus on transparency’ when it comes to salmon farming is delusional. He needs to get out more.

The Salmon Industry Growth Map was first cooked up by the Government’s Media Unit, and has been a triumph of spin over substance ever since. The alleged ‘annual review’ is just more of the same.

It’s little wonder the Minister has written his own glowing report card - anyone outside the industry he is pandering to would’ve given the Hodgman Liberals a massive fail.