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Petuna's Storm Bay Expansion Approval Compromised

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 11 April 2019

Tags: Fish Farms, Storm Bay, Petuna, Marine Environment, Environment

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

Minister Barnett’s approval of the Storm Bay North Marine Farming Development Plan, enabling large scale industrial fish farming south of Betsy Island in Storm Bay, is completely compromised. 

The Marine Farming Review Panel’s process for making this recommendation is flawed and wholly inadequate. Only five of the nine panel members were appointed at the time the decision was made because of the Liberals’ determined mismanagement of the salmon farming industry.

The Panel’s decisions had already been under a cloud after the resignation of the two key scientific experts, who challenged its independence and process. 

Minister Barnett has chosen to accept a recommendation from an incomplete Panel, which has no environment management expert, no member with fish health and biosecurity expertise, or boating and navigational expert. What’s the point of having an expert panel at all, if the decision is a fait accompli?

Tasmanians will not be reassured that the potential environmental impacts, including upon the threatened and protected marine life detected within the survey area, will be properly managed.

Just as with Tassal and Huon Aquaculture’s applications before them, Petuna’s plans for expansion into Storm Bay are under a cloud. The salmon industry’s massive expansion has ignored independent scientific expert advice, along with the community’s wishes – and the government has facilitated it.

The Hodgman Government hasn’t learnt from the environmental damage of fish farming in Macquarie Harbour, and is intent on backing the industry at any cost.  With the absence of a rigorous and independent scientific assessment, the marine environment will continue to be damaged.