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Macquarie Harbour Farms Destroy World Heritage Values

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Tags: World Heritage Area, Marine Environment, IMAS, Oxygen Levels, Fish Farms

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Environment spokesperson

The salmon industry's pollution of Macquarie Harbour is irrefutable.  By directing the destocking of salmon from the Franklin lease, the EPA has admitted the environmental damage that's occurred to the harbour and the adjoining World Heritage Area. 

Last September, the same lease had 14 non-compliances issued, due to excessive pollution of the surrounding environment.  It's clear those warnings were substantially ignored.

The Liberals' continued backing of business as usual in Macquarie Harbour now directly threatens the World Heritage Area.  

Yesterday's comments by Opposition Leader, Bryan Green, that the salmon industry already has too much regulation, show how synchronised the establishment parties are in prioritising short-term business interests.   

This government cannot ignore the destruction of World Heritage values in favour of the salmon industry's short-term gains.  A responsible government's priorities should lie with the environment, and the sustainability of regional jobs that flow from healthy waterways and an authentic brand. 

The government is sitting on an IMAS report about the health of the Harbour.  According to comments from the Director of the EPA, it reveals dissolved oxygen levels throughout the lower harbour that are catastrophically low and can no longer support life.  One lease site has no fauna out to at least half a kilometre from the cages.

It seems likely the IMAS report will also confirm significant damage to the globally significant Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.

The Liberals are steering the sustainability of the salmon industry towards a cliff with their lack of regulation, and unchecked expansion.