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Rockliff Rules Out Independent Assessment of East Coast Fish Farm

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Tags: Fish Farms, East Coast, Marine Environment, Tassal, Okehampton Bay, Water Restrictions

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

Today, Minister Rockliff refused to commit to a formal independent assessment of the social impacts of new fish farm leases on the east coast. This is despite acknowledging the need to take out large amounts of fresh water from the local supply for their activities.

Minister Rockliff also revealed Tassal has come to an arrangement with a private landowner to place a dam on a property at Tea Tree Rivulet.

He estimated this will take at least 1.75Gl of water out of the Prosser River catchment. This is the same catchment that supplies the freshwater for Orford and Triabunna.

Orford and Triabunna were on Stage 2 water restrictions over summer, yet Minister Rockliff is comfortable washing his hands of responsibility for regulation.

The Minister's new "tough industry regulations" announced yesterday don't extend to assessing or approving new leases. 

The last environmental modelling of the Okehampton lease was undertaken in 1997. The modelling is completely out of date, and the local community and their needs have changed dramatically in the last 20 years.

The Okehampton Bay lease doesn't have to go through any consultation process, and Minister Rockliff is very content to absolve himself of responsibility.