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Liberals Weak on Salmon, Ignore Insider Warnings

31 Oct 2016

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

News that the State Government have ignored advice from industry about conditions at Macquarie Harbour on three occasions is alarming.  It puts Macquarie Harbour's marine environment, and the aquaculture industry's sustainability at risk.

Tonight's ABC’s Four Corners program will present evidence that the Hodgman Government refused to act on Huon Aquaculture’s requests to step in and protect the industry.

Ultimately, the Minister for Primary Industries, Jeremy Rockliff's, weakness is damaging the unique environment of Macquarie Harbour, the companies that farm there, and consumer confidence in Tasmanian farmed salmon.

Instead of cutting back the activities of the industry in Macquarie Harbour, as Huon Aquaculture begged, Minister Rockliff approved an increase in the number of fish allowed to be farmed there twice in the last two years.  Most recently he did this in April, while the tail end of the extreme summer hot weather persisted.

The intense summer heatwave conditions and their impacts on farmed fish in Macquarie Harbour are now proven to have been well understood by DPIPWE.

Minister Rockliff's pretence of being a tough industry regulator is a sham.  He can’t claim he didn’t know about the dire situation in Macquarie Harbour.

Tonight's Four Corners exposé will, no doubt, reveal in more depth how the Liberals have laid out the red carpet to the salmon industry, at the expense of the environment and, ultimately, the industry itself.