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Clouds Still Hang Over Storm Bay Expansion Approval

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Tags: Fish Farms, Storm Bay, Code of Conduct, Governance, Cabinet

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader

Today, right across Storm Bay and South-East Tasmania, people are asking themselves about the former-Minister for Primary Industries and her relationship with the Secretary of DPIPWE and what impact that may have had on the decision to allow fish farm expansion in Storm Bay. 

Despite overwhelming opposition and incomplete science, the Marine Farming Planning Review Panel recommended the expansion for Tassal and Huon be approved in late August, three months ago.  That recommendation then went to the DPIPWE Secretary and disgraced Minister, Sarah Courtney. 

With Code of Conduct investigations into their personal relationship underway, the Premier and Acting Minister, Will Hodgman announced the Storm Bay expansion approval on Monday.

Why were the Panel’s recommendations parked for three months after the approval decision was made?

Why were communities most affected by the Storm Bay expansion plans left in the dark for three months?

Tasmanians don’t know what, if anything, the relationship between the former-Minister and her then-Secretary has had to do with this approval and the very delayed process of announcing the Panel’s decision.

What we do know is that the Acting Minister, Premier Hodgman, announced the approval on Monday afternoon, and appointed a new Minister to the Primary Industries portfolio less than 48 hours later.

The legitimacy of this process, and approval of fish farm expansion in Storm Bay remains under a massive cloud.

At least we know one thing for sure, when you breach the Ministerial Code of Conduct in the Hodgman Government, you get rewarded with a Ministry.