Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment and Biodiversity spokesperson
After years of unchecked expansion and worsening environmental and social impacts, Tasmania’s industrial fish farming industry is about to enter its darkest phase. All three of the state’s industrial fish farm operators will soon be owned by large international corporations, with regulations as limp as lettuce to govern them.
No Tasmanian would be comforted by the Environment Minister’s attempted assurances in Parliament today, when the Greens asked him about the government’s priorities. It’s clear Minister Jaensch won’t change a thing.
These corporate behemoths have been drawn to Tasmania by the lack of proper regulation of the salmon industry. Their chequered – in places, criminal – track records suggest they will have no qualms about further exploiting our island’s waterways, and will pay no heed to coastal communities.
Despite the obvious risks facing Tasmania, the Liberal Government refuses to act. Their response to the Legislative Council Inquiry into Fin Fish Farming ignores the overwhelming evidence of the need to strengthen environmental standards and regulations to protect the state’s waterways.
Without legislated limits on nitrogen pollution and salmon biomass in leases, farm lease assessments, and a prohibition on farming in inshore areas, there are no meaningful protections to stop these foreign mega-companies using our marine waters for waste dumps.
The Liberals’ priorities are putting the profits of massive international corporations first, and everything else – last. Tasmania’s marine environment and our coastal communities are apparently acceptable collateral damage.
Under the Liberals, this island’s fragile and unique waterways will continue to be degraded by a highly polluting industry that sends its profits offshore. It’s a shocking failure to look after the best interests of this state, and Tasmanians have every right to feel betrayed.