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Liberals Duck Macquarie Harbour Questions

Kim Booth

Kim Booth  -  Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Tags: Fish Farms, Macquarie Harbour

The Greens have today exposed serious concerns raised within the salmon farm industry about the health of Macquarie Harbour, tabling in the House of Assembly leaked correspondence from industry representatives to the State government.

“The email correspondence details serious concerns about the health of Macquarie Harbour, the potential impact of changing the current 52.5 percent Cap, and the potential negative impact upon the industry’s reputation,” Mr Booth said.

“While both the Premier and the Primary Industries Minister confirmed receipt of the email at the time, they both failed to detail to the House the course of any action taken since these concerns were raised with them to ensure the health of Macquarie Harbour is restored.”

“The Greens are calling on the Minister to clarify whether an independent investigation into these serious concerns and allegations was undertaken, and we also urgently require a current status report on the health of the Harbour.”

“Tasmanians deserve to know the health status of Macquarie Harbour now, as well as any action taken to improve monitoring to ensure it remains healthy.”

“The lack of detail, and spurious attempts to deflect from this serious issue by the Minister today, did nothing to reassure anyone that there are not serious problems in Macquarie Harbour,” Mr Booth said.

Senator Peter Whish-Wilson had also raised serious concerns regarding the impact of fish farms in Macquarie harbour in the Senate yesterday evening.

“If nationally listed threatened species are all at risk then, under the Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act, the state government needs to alert the Commonwealth minister. Has this happened? If not, why not?”

“I intend to write to the Commonwealth minister, urging him to investigate whether the state government is doing the right thing by industry and by threatened species in Macquarie Harbour.”

“These leaked documents suggest Macquarie Harbour is potentially a ticking time bomb not just for the environment but potentially for the economic sustainability of the Tasmanian salmon industry and the many Tasmanians it employs.”

“If Tasmania's clean, green brand is to have integrity and longevity, the state and federal governments must work with stakeholders and act quickly to understand and rectify potential environmental problems. And they must do so with transparency,” Senator Whish-Wilson said.