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Liberals' Plan to Expand Salmon Industry at Expense of Community and Environment

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Tags: Fish Farms, Marine Environment, Okehampton Bay, Petuna, Tassal

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens’ Marine Environment spokesperson

The Liberals’ final Salmon Growth Plan released today is a sham, written by industry for industry. It is an audacious carve up of the Tasmanian marine environment, and provides corporate ownership without a formal legal process for the public and other stakeholders to argue their case.

The marine farming planning process in Tasmania is fundamentally flawed. Industry writes the rules and the Marine Farming Development Plans. Now we can add the State Wide Growth Plan to the list. 

No environmental or social criteria have been presented to justify why certain public waterways are to be handed over to salmon farming companies. The amendments that have been made to "no-grow zones" are all about spinning Tasmanians, and have absolutely no effect on areas suitable for future industry expansion.

If Tasmanians disagree with what has been decided for their public waterways, including southern King Island, Circular Head, Okehampton Bay, Bruny Island and Storm Bay – that’s too bad. No rights of public appeal exist.

The extension of a "no-grow zone" around western King Island, where Tassal has no interest in farming, is no comfort to local Islanders concerned about that company's massive exploration of the rich fishing waters of the east. Similarly, waters off Circular Head incorporate changes that accommodate Petuna’s expansion plans.

This Plan is yet another insult to East Coast residents, who have been stonewalled by the Liberals.  It locks in Tassal’s operations in the shallow and sheltered waters of Okehampton Bay, despite the surrounding Mercury Passage being off limits. 

It is ironic in the extreme that this puffed-up industry growth plan has been released at the start of the Blue Futures Symposium. International speakers from the Faroe Islands and Scotland have spoken clearly about the need for well-managed industries to collaborate with other stakeholders and to have far stronger environmental regulations than Tasmania.

The Greens stand by our call for a moratorium on the expansion of salmon farming, and an open evidence-based review of Tasmania’s marine planning and fish farming regulations.

We will always represent the community interest, and do all we can to protect our beautiful channels and harbours, and the plants and animals that depend on a healthy marine environment.

As the Blue Futures Symposium makes clear - the future of the salmon industry is on land or far off shore. It cannot be determined behind closed doors by three companies in cahoots with the Liberals, or Labor.