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Community Demands Rockliff Reverse Okehampton Bay Decision

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Sunday, 5 March 2017

Tags: Fish Farms, Okehampton Bay, Environment, Marine Environment

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens' Leader

More than 200 people packed the Triabunna Community Hall today to express their anger at the Liberal Government's decision to approve a Tassal fish farm in pristine Okehampton Bay.

While not a single Liberal or Labor MP, State or Federal, had the courage to show up, the Greens Environment spokesperson, Rosalie Woodruff and I were there.  The meeting overwhelmingly, by a show of hands, called on Jeremy Rockliff to reverse his decision.

We heard from former Macquarie Harbour salmon farmer, Ron Morrison, and scientist, Dr Christine Materia, about the devastating environmental impacts of fish farming in Macquarie Harbour and the D'Entrecasteaux Channel.

The meeting heard that Tassal's claim of "world's best practice" operations is a lie.

The very strong mood of the meeting was that fish farming in Okehampton Bay would pollute East Coast waters, harming fisheries and the growing tourism industry.  There is also a very real fear that if Tassal starts fish farming in Okehampton Bay, they will eventually move into Mercury Passage.  

Residents also heard that the Liberals' assertion fish farming would bring many jobs to the East Coast flies in the face of increasing mechanisation of that industry.  People here want jobs, but not at any cost.

There is deep suspicion within this community about the relationship between the Liberal Party and Tassal.  There is very little - to no - trust in anything either the Liberals or Tassal say about the Okehampton Bay development.

On behalf of the East Coast's marine environment and community, who feel they have not been heard, the Greens will pursue this matter in State Parliament.  Minister Rockliff must reverse his decision.