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Okehampton Bay Decision
Media Release - Thursday, 16 February 2017
Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Environment spokesperson
It's no surprise the Minister's hand-picked panel have agreed with Minister Rockliff and recommended approving Tassal's operations at Okehampton Bay. The same company responsible for creating dead zones in the West has been given the go-ahead to expand into Tasmania's East Coast.
The green light delivered by the so-called "independent" Marine Farming Planning Review Panel to farm salmon in Okehampton Bay was a foregone conclusion.
There was nothing truly independent about the Panel making decisions on the future of Okehampton Bay. It was designed by industry, for industry's short term gain.
They have recommended prioritising short-term dollars over long-term loss to the environment, community and other industries.
The Panel's Terms of Reference deliberately excluded social and economic impacts on the local community. Even the Panel, however, has confirmed there is a dire need for more scientific baseline data in their advice to the Minister.
Nothing in the Minister's comments will reassure East Coast residents, who have been treated with contempt by the review process. They were only able to comment on very narrow review terms, and now they have no formal ability to appeal the Minister's decision.
This decision confirms what the Greens and environmentalists have consistently said - the government's process for regulating the salmon industry is not fair, not transparent, and certainly not independent.