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Leaked Letter Confirms Corrupted Approval Process for Storm Bay Expansion

25 Feb 2019

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

The leaked correspondence from the two former members of the government’s Marine Farm Planning Review Panel has confirmed there has been a corrupted process governing the approval of the massive fish farm expansion into Storm Bay.

Professor Nowak and Ms Cherrie, two expert scientists, listed all the deficiencies with the processes governing the large-scale expansion into the public waterway in their letter. They highlighted those deficiencies were, and are, well-known and long-standing.

Both scientists stressed the government’s legislation, the absence of base information, and a panel that functions to support the operational convenience of the salmon industry as the primary reasons they were unable to provide advice to protect the marine environment and biosecurity of the ecosystem.

The leaked letter points to a corrupted process in the approval of Tassal and Huon Aquaculture’s expansion into Storm Bay.

The two expert scientists called the process “inherently compromised”, with overarching legislation that prevented them from providing rigorous, objective and scientifically-based advice.

The only way any person can have faith in the expansion proceeding is for Minister Barnett to revoke the Storm Bay expansion approvals and start the Marine Farming Planning Review Panel’s process from scratch - after taking on board the criticisms of the two scientists.

The Minister should have two key priorities, to revoke the Storm Bay approval, and to fix the overarching marine farming laws before reconsidering expansion. Without both, no Tasmanian can have faith that the massive expansion planned for Storm Bay has been assessed with any reference to environmental impacts or biosecurity.

It’s clear, without Professor Nowak and Ms Cherrie’s concerns addressed, there’s no way Tasmania can have sustainable salmon growth and a ‘world’s best practice’ industry.