Greens Environment spokesperson, Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP:
Yesterday’s Four Corners expose about behemoth Brazilian meat processor JBS revealed shocking bribery, environmental damage and workplace negligence. Premier Rockliff needs to act on the implications of this evidence for Tasmania immediately.
The ‘Brazilian butchers’, the two brothers behind JBS, have been convicted and jailed for the world’s largest political bribery scandal that helped fund the company’s expansion outside of Brazil. The Premier needs to request the Australian Federal Police investigate whether there is any possibility proceeds of that crime were used to finance the purchase of Huon Aquaculture, or any other Tasmanian asset.
Premier Rockliff also needs to assure Tasmanians that workers in JBS facilities across Tasmania are safe. JBS have an atrocious record locally, nationally and globally for unsafe workplaces with tragic consequences, as we witnessed in the Four Corners’ program.
The Premier and his government have allowed one of the globe’s worst environmental criminals into Tasmanian waters – this is akin to allowing the fox into the henhouse.
The Tasmanian salmon industry already has the darkest of palls cast over it. JBS taking control of a large part of the sector, encouraged by the state government, is frightening for the impact on our marine environment and our clean, green brand.
Premier Rockliff needs to protect Tasmania’s future by preventing any marine farming expansions and tightening environmental standards.
Is Tasmania prepared to accept the dubious title of having the lowest environmental and corporate management standards imaginable? This is the trajectory the Tasmanian Liberal Government has set us upon, and this is the question Premier Rockliff must address.
Greens Senator for lutruwita/Tasmania, Peter Whish Wilson:
Clearly the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) process is completely broken when you have a federal government approving a big corporation with a proven history of corruption to operate in Australia without full scrutiny.
The Greens wrote to the Treasurer and urged him not to approve the JBS takeover of Huon Aquaculture, or at least use his powers to place binding conditions on the approval - such as strict guidelines around operating standards, regulations and disclosures.
This was ignored and a unique opportunity for the Commonwealth Government to hold this rogue industry to account has passed us by.
You have to ask yourself why Liberal and Labor politicians are so keen to stand by JBS when its track record is littered with corruption allegations, including one of the world’s largest political bribery scandals.
We can’t clean up fish farms until we clean up politics. The Greens are calling for full disclosure from political parties about donations made to them from JBS, and for a moratorium on the expansion of fish farms into Commonwealth waters until we have the proper processes in place to scrutinise this corrupt industry.