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Geelong Star-gate

Kim Booth

Kim Booth  -  Friday, 24 April 2015

Tags: Super Trawler

Confirmation by the caller who sought the Premier’s position on the Geelong Star supertrawler on commercial radio last month, that he feels he was deliberately mislead into believing the Liberals opposed the Geelong Star, now requires the Premier to issue an unequivocal apology to both the caller and the radio station’s listeners.

“The Geelong Star-gate controversy sparked by the Premier will not go away and will continue to reflect badly on his leadership credibility until he fronts up, admits he deliberately let the listening public walk away under a misapprehension, and apologise,” Greens leader Kim Booth MP said.

“The caller, Todd Lambert of the Stop the Trawler Alliance, has confirmed he is clear everyone participating in that radio interview knew full well that his question to the Premier was specifically seeking the Liberals’ position on this particular vessel.”

“Mr Lambert believed he had received direct from the horse’s mouth that the Liberals did not support the Geelong Star.”

“He then later discovers that apparently slippery word games were being played, even while he was thanking the Premier for his supportive position.”

“If this was a case of genuine miscommunication, then there should be nothing preventing the Premier from publicly apologising to Mr Lambert, and to other radio listeners who also took home the wrong message at the time.”

“This is not about how the Greens interpreted the interview, this is about the fact the Premier deliberately let Mr Lambert and the radio audience believe the opposite of what he apparently meant.”

“This begs the question why?”

“Didn’t Mr Hodgman think it was odd that Mr Lambert twice said they were in agreement?  There were two opportunities then and there for Will Hodgman to pull up Mr Lambert on air, and clarify that Mr Lambert had misunderstood him as in fact the Liberals do support the Geelong Star but oppose larger supertrawlers.”

“But Mr Hodgman failed to do so.”

“Therefore it falls on his head to formally apologise for not immediately clarifying that misapprehension.”

Mr Booth also called on people to not be sucked in by the political decree over what constitutes a super trawler, behind which the Tasmanian Liberals are trying to hide their policy backflip.

“Lets be clear, if it looks like a supertrawler, is a huge factory freezer trawler, targets the same fishery as a supertrawler, presents the same risks of local depletion of fish stocks and potential crash of marine ecosystems, and kills non-target marine mammals along the way, then it is a supertrawler.”

“The broad range of community representatives, recreational, game and local fishers did not ever say they would accept supertrawlers shorter in length than 130 metres.  That decision was made by Canberra, and does not in any way reflect, or bind, the community’s view,’ Mr Booth said.