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Senate Committee on Fish Missed the Boat

23 Aug 2015

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

The Liberals and Labor will be given an opportunity in Parliament this week to put the sustainability of Tasmania's aquaculture industry ahead of short term politics.

We will move to bring marine farming under the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) and out of the hands of the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and the Environment (DPIPWE.

DPIPWE has the conflicting roles of promoting the marine farming industry and regulating to reign it in. The EPA is an independent statutory authority.

The current regulatory regime is inadequate, not arms-length from government and lacks transparency.

It is in the aquaculture sector's best interests for Tasmania to have effective, independent  monitoring and evidence-based assessment processes.

If we keep our waters clean we help to safeguard the salmon industry's hard won reputation in export markets.

While the recent Senate Inquiry report - with the exception of the Greens dissenting report - glossed over recent massive fish losses in Macquarie Harbour, they point to serious water health issues.

The old parties who dominated the Senate Inquiry,  and their Tasmanian colleagues, seem to believe  doubling the industry's size is more important than protecting the environment, our lucrative, clean brand and sustainable jobs.

We'll hear what they have to say about this serious issue in Greens Private Members Time this week.