Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson
Question Time is supposed to be about the scrutiny of Government and its Ministers. In Parliament today, however, the Environment Minister Roger Jaensch chose to run away rather than face this scrutiny.
The Greens raised the damage fish farms are causing to waterways across lutruwita/Tasmania, and questioned Minister Jaensch about his directive to the EPA that requires the environmental regulator to put industry productivity first. Minister Jaensch started to answer, but then fled to his seat instead.
While Roger Jaensch has had a lot on his plate recently, the preservation of his political hide should not come ahead of his responsibilities to the Tasmanian people. Ministers are answerable to Parliament, regardless of how hard they find it, or how unprepared they are.
The Minister’s retreat comes after the Liberals, backed by Labor, axed the time for Budget Estimates scrutiny of the Environment and Parks’ portfolios.
Tasmanians from across the island are concerned about the impact fish farms are having on the marine environment and public waterways. Environmental degradation and damage at places like White Beach, Long Bay, Bruny Island, Huon River beaches and in the D'Entrecasteaux Channel have been ignored by the Liberals, and perpetuated by their EPA’s inaction.
Today’s performance says everything Tasmanians need to know about the Liberals’ attitude to the environment. They’d rather run away than take responsibility.
While Minister Jaensch obviously doesn’t care about the damage being caused to public waterways on his watch, Tasmanians do. The Greens will make sure the community’s concerns are heard, and will continue to pursue the Minister on this critical issue.