Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Marine Environment spokesperson
RTI documents released yesterday outline exactly how ineffective and damaging the Liberals’ so-called “management” of the salmon industry has been. While the industry trumpeted its record profits, it was less willing to admit those profits were helped by flagrant breaches of government regulations.
Despite government orders to completely destock their 266 lease in Macquarie Harbour in August 2015, and again in November 2016, Tassal continued to feed and grow salmon in those pens until April this year.
Tassal defied direct government orders for nearly two years after severe damage to the marine environment was identified. This happened with the full knowledge of the Liberals and without any penalties to the company.
Clearly, Tassal waited the extra time to maximise its profits by keeping salmon in the water to grow for as long as possible.
The marine environment is being traded away to line industry’s pockets, with the support of both Labor and the Liberals.
Tasmanians are being left to deal with marine dead zones, a degraded World Heritage Area and untold damage to the other fishing and tourism businesses coastal communities rely upon.
The RTI documents raise serious questions about the independence of the EPA Director, who is acting under the delegated authority of Minister Rockliff.
Businesses will always seek to maximise their profits. It’s the government’s job to regulate them to make sure they don't jeopardise the environment and the public interest.
By siding with wealthy listed companies, Labor and the Liberals are ducking their responsibility as protectors of Tasmania's interests.