Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Marine Environment spokesperson
After changing their position before and after the 2014 election, the Liberals brought a bill to Parliament that merely cements existing super trawler regulations into law.
We were disappointed not to see any provision in the Bill to ban super trawlers calling Tasmania home.
The Greens also attempted to amend part of the bill that removed the obligation for the Primary Industries Minister to publicly advertise changes to fishing regulations. Both the Liberals and Labor, however, are content to keep recreational fishers in the dark and voted against our amendment.
Before the last State election, the Liberals committed to opposing super trawlers and, if elected, tabling legislation to ban them from Tasmanian waters immediately. They also promised to lobby the federal government to ban super trawlers in Australian waters.
The government has been almost completely silent on both issues, and only brought this bill to the Parliament after super trawler, the Geelong Star, left Australian waters last November.
During the Geelong Star’s stay in Australian waters it was responsible for the deaths of dolphins, seals and albatross’.
Unlike both Labor and Liberals, the Greens have maintained a consistent opposition to super trawlers.
In April 2015, Michael Ferguson talked up the Geelong Star as "an opportunity for value-adding and jobs" and tried to convince Tasmanians it wasn't a super trawler.
In November last year, Mark Shelton celebrated the departure of “super trawler Geelong Star”* from Australian waters. The only thing the Liberals have been consistent about is their duplicity on super trawlers.
The Liberals misled recreational fishers and environmentalists before the State election. They tried to bluff through the last three years by creating their own definition of the length of a super trawler. This won’t wash with the Tasmanians.