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Greens Release Plan For Strong, Independent EPA

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 28 April 2021

Tags: Environment, Environment Protection Authority, Fish Farms

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

Lutruwita/Tasmania deserves an independent Environment Protection Agency, with the resources and teeth to put this island’s precious environment first. 

The EPA is our critical environmental regulator, but under the Liberals and Labor it has been captured, hobbled and starved it into making ‘industry first’ decisions. 

The Greens’ plan makes the EPA fully independent and resources it appropriately.

The current Liberal Government directive demands the EPA put industry “affluence and productivity” first. Our plan creates a stand-alone statutory body, and provides $8 million in increased resourcing towards environmental monitoring and enforcement. 

The EPA’s lack of independence from the Department of Primary Industries, and its ‘softly softly’ approach to acts of company environmental harm and vandalism has led to shocking outcomes for marine and land creatures and communities.

The EPA failed to prevent the death of over one million salmon from disease in Macquarie Harbour. Major non-compliances from salmon farming companies in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel, Port Arthur, the Huon and Derwent Rivers have all been met with slap on the wrist penalties, or nothing at all.

The EPA’s standard “adaptive management” response to environmental damage by companies has led to gross nutrient pollution from fish farms, algal blooms and green slime, marine barrens and toxins in drinking water catchments.

Other examples of the EPA’s failings include untreated effluent being discharged into sensitive waterways from Van Dairy’s operations, the poisoning and mass fish death of Plenty River, and the approval of a quarry at Maydena despite video evidence of healthy Tasmanian devils on the site. The evidence of a broken EPA is overwhelming.

The only way to truly protect lutruwita/Tasmania’s environment and sensitive wildlife is to create an EPA that’s properly resourced and independent, prepared to go into bat for the environment first when needed.

You can read our plan here -