The State’s environmental watchdog, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) must be given the go-ahead by the government to conduct a comprehensive investigation into the current health of Macquarie harbour, Greens Leader and Primary Industries spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.
“There are serious concerns that the EPA is being sidelined from investigating the situation at Macquarie Harbour,” Mr Booth said.
“The leaked industry email which I tabled in the Assembly yesterday included the following, ‘we have spoken with the Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),..., recently who has indicated that he is very concerned about the environmental health of Macquarie Harbour and he is waiting for the Secretary’s decision to determine if he is required to act...’.”
“The Minister refused to clarify whether the EPA was involved when he asserts the government acted on the industry concerns as detailed in the email, a silence which only raises further questions.”
“Minister Rockliff also failed to take the opportunity to reassure the community that should the statutory environmental watchdog feel the need to intervene in Macquarie Harbour, it was welcome to do so.”
“Macquarie Harbour is an enormous cultural and natural public asset, and Tasmanians deserve to know that the environmental watchdog is on the case.”
“The Greens are calling for a guarantee from the Minister that there are no obstacles in the path of the EPA undertaking any assessment, monitoring and investigation into the condition of Macquarie Harbour that the watchdog deems necessary,” Mr Booth said.