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Labor’s Fish Farming Policy Still Unclear

4 May 2019

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

Despite assurances from independent candidates in the Federal Election that Labor would intervene to protect the marine environment in future, last week’s debate in State Parliament puts their confidence in doubt.

During last week’s debate calling on Labor to articulate their fish farming policy, the only clear statement Labor MP Shane Broad made was his party don’t support a moratorium on fish farm expansion.

That position would be disappointing to many Tasmanians concerned about the marine environment, who are considering how they cast their vote in a fortnight.

Dr Broad and the Labor Party openly endorse the salmon industry’s use of ‘adaptive management’, and he cited the cascade of catastrophes in Macquarie Harbour as an example of successful environmental management.

Regarding the severe damage scientists have identified to marine environments from salmon farming, Dr Broad said, “We are not talking about permanent environmental damage. We are not talking about digging a mine, removing . . . , we are talking about a farming system. If you remove the influence of the fish then the ocean will remediate.”

The dead zones in Macquarie Harbour and the trashed shellfish industry in the D’Entrecastaux Channel show that’s plainly not true.

Dr Broad spent the majority of the parliamentary debate talking about the industry’s needs, and barely mentioned the community. 

It’s unclear where Labor stand - with coastal communities and the marine environment, or big salmon?

The Greens represent Tasmanians who love the marine environment, and who want laws that protect the clean green values we need for sustainable fishing jobs.

It’s unclear what private assurances Mr Wilkie and Mr Garland have been given by Bill Shorten about what the Labor Party’s policy will be after the coming election.

One thing is certain, the only party supporting a moratorium on fish farm expansion, and who has a strong policy to protect the marine environment in the upcoming Federal Election, is the Greens.