Recent testing results which reveal the presence of at least 13 toxic pesticides in Tasmanian rivers, demonstrates why the Primary Industries Minister, Jeremy Rockliff, must come clean on cuts to the pesticides in waterways testing regime and immediately reinstate the department’s public reporting system, Greens Leader and Primary Industries spokesperson Kim Booth MP said.
“Last month I asked the Minister to confirm that due to state budget cuts the departments agricultural pesticide water sampling and testing regime was being cut, including public reporting,” Mr Booth said.
“Despite Mr Rockliff stating that ‘testing will continue’, what he did not disclose is the public reporting on the department’s website would cease.”
“This is an unacceptable case of double-speak, especially when the latest data obtained reveals 13 toxic chemicals detected in Tasmanian rivers including Boobyalla, the Clyde, the Coal, Duck, Meander, Great Forester, Little Forester, the Macquarie, the Mersey and Don system, the Rubicon and the Welcome.”
“The agricultural chemicals detected in these July results include 2,4-D, atrazine, cyanazine, MCPA, metsulfuron methyl amongst others.”
“Tasmanians deserve full reporting transparency, as this is proven to drive efforts to not only detect chemical contamination but to also track it back to the source and ensure further contamination is prevented.”
“For approximately the last ten years the bimonthly pesticide water testing results were released publicly on the Department of Primary Industries, Water and Environment’s website. For months now this site has been shut down, and is under ‘redevelopment’.”
“This Hodgman government loves to gloat and claim credit for the state’s invaluable clean, green brand on one hand, while secretly undermining its authenticity with the other hand.”
“People will not be fooled, they want and deserve our clean green brand to be genuine. This is non-negotiable for the sake of our waterways, our environment and our primary producers who rely upon it to access and maintain markets.”
“Mr Rockliff must immediately reassure Tasmanians that the pesticide monitoring program will continue as rigorously as possible, and that the results will continue to be published publicly on the department’s website as it has been since 2004-5,” Mr Booth said.