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Proposed Fish Farm Review Just Green-Washing

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Friday, 12 August 2016

Tags: Fish Farms, Marine Environment, Okehampton Bay

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

The Minister for Primary Industries has finally heard the East Coast residents' outrage about the proposed fish farm in Okehampton Bay.

If Minister Rockliff is serious about community and market confidence then he needs to step in with a more rigorous triple-bottom line process. Instead of indulging in green-washing, as he’s proposed.

The Marine Farming Planning Review process that will review Tassal’s expansion into Okehampton Bay is a toothless tiger. It was designed by industry, for industry.

The Minister needs to direct the panel to expand its terms of reference to include the social and economic impacts of fish farms, on threatened and migratory species, as well as on invasive species.

The Southern Right Whale, Humpback Whale and Bottlenose Dolphin all migrate past Okehampton Bay.

The government’s plan to allow fish farms to expand into the East Coast was rejected by the local community, tourism operators, existing mussel and oyster farms, abalone divers and recreational fishers.

If the Liberals are serious about getting a social licence for fish farming, then the community must have confidence in the scientific assessment process.

Tassal aims to double its commercial activities by 2030. Okehampton Bay is the industry's wedge to expand their highly polluting activities into the Mercury Passage on the East Coast, and beyond. There is no support for this in the region.

The Hodgman Government must look after the current jobs in the industry, and make sure it's regulated so it can survive for the long-term. That's only possible with a sustainable industry that has broad scientific and community support.

Minister Rockliff must address the impact of multiple developments, and allow for full community consultation and public hearings.