Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Marine Environment spokesperson
The West Coast Council’s unanimous vote against Tassal dumping its salmon waste in Macquarie Harbour is a strong signal the local community won’t accept any further pressure on the harbour or its World Heritage values.
Tassal is using an untested waste capture method beneath its pens so it can stock an extra 4,000 tonnes of fish above the harbour limit previously set by the Environment Protection Authority.
The EPA supported this special exemption for Tassal on condition the company remove its waste from the harbour entirely. Now Tassal is trying to get out of holding up its end of the bargain.
The decision to grant Tassal a special licence to overstock was controversial. It would forever stain the government’s credibility to allow Tassal to breach its obligations now.
Macquarie Harbour is a unique ecosystem, home to threatened species and with World Heritage Values, and this government is allowing it to be trashed.
If the government won’t make Tassal remove the excess fish in the harbour, the EPA needs to order them to remove the waste to an approved disposal site. It’s the only option for the marine environment in Macquarie Harbour, and it’s what the community is demanding.