Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens' Leader
The Liberal and Labor parties have rejected the Greens' move to establish a Parliamentary Inquiry into fish farm expansion in Tasmania, wasting an opportunity to improve management of the industry and abandoning communities concerned about damage to the marine environment.
Despite the daily evidence of an industry in regulatory chaos and a growing loss of public trust, the Liberals want to double the industry's size by 2030 while Labor remains largely silent on the issue.
The new Labor Leader and Member for Lyons, Rebecca White, stayed silent during tonight's debate on fish farm expansion and Tassal's plans for Okehampton Bay. In fact, not one of the five sitting Lyons MPs made a contribution to the debate.
With the imminent threat to Okehampton Bay and East Coast waters, and fish farming set for massive expansion across Storm Bay, now is the time for a thorough examination of the impacts, regulatory framework, monitoring and enforcement of fish farming in Tasmania.
This Inquiry was an opportunity to give all community stakeholders the voice they have been denied to date. It would have allowed for genuinely independent expert advice to be sought to guide the industry towards genuine world's best practice.
We believe both Parties and the industry should have supported this inquiry. It is absolutely in the long term interests of salmonid growers and the Tasmanians they employ to ensure the marine environment is protected and that there is a strong social license for this industry.
Many East Coast residents felt completely shut out of the flawed Okehampton Bay decision. Salmon are expected in their near pristine waters by August, despite Tassal's on-land development still requiring Council approval.
We recognise growing community angst about expansion of fish farming into East Coast waters and across Storm Bay. While communities are being abandoned by the old parties, the Greens will stand by them and continue to work to ensure the marine environment is protected for all to enjoy and that the industry is genuinely sustainable.
Tasmanians are crying out for transparency and accountability to be applied to salmon farming.
Regrettably, the old parties are refusing to shine the disinfectant of sunlight on this industry in order to improve its operation and management and restore public faith.