The State Liberals have been exposed promising one thing to anti super trawler campaigners before the state election, and then voting the opposite way once they achieved power, Greens Leader and Primary Industries spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.
“Email correspondence, issued by Mr Hodgman’s Chief of Staff while the Liberals were in opposition during the 2014 election campaign, reveals that Mr Hodgman and his staff accepted super trawlers to mean ‘freezer factory trawlers’, and undertook to pursue a permanent ban on such vessels ‘in waters under the control of the Commonwealth Government’,” Mr Booth said.
“In return for this undertaking to support a ban on freezer factory trawlers in Commonwealth waters, the Liberals sought a commitment from the stakeholder group to cease their TV, radio and other media advertising campaign targeting the Liberals.”
“Yet when provided the opportunity last week to follow through on their election promise to support a ban on a factory freezer super trawler, the Geelong Star, the Premier shamelessly broke this written commitment issued by his own Chief of Staff.”
“We have heard these last few days that the Liberals apparently only object to super trawlers of 130 metres in length or more. Yet this email makes no mention of trawler size, but specifically refers to ‘freezer factory trawlers’.”
“Clearly, if the Liberals were standing by the election campaign commitment issued by the Premier’s Chief of Staff, they would have voted in support of our motion to write to the Commonwealth objecting to the Geelong Star’s operation in the Small Pelagic fishery.”
“Either Will Hodgman’s Chief of Staff sent that email with his knowledge and authorisation, in which case this is a blatant broken promise by Will Hodgman. Or does he actually want people to believe he is treated as a puppet by his own staff who enter into policy commitments without even bothering to inform him?”
“The message to the Tasmanian public is clear, you cannot trust the Hodgman Liberals. This email is proof Will Hodgman has so little integrity he is prepared to promise the world when in Opposition, only to walk away from those commitments once the has gained power,” Mr Booth said.