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Brand Tasmania Bill 2018

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 22 November 2018

Tags: Tasmanian Brand

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Madam Speaker, I want to make a small contribution. I have been listening to the comments from other members. I support the integrity of Brand Tasmania. I have heard members talk about the value of having a brand which is recognised throughout the world, throughout Australia, as particular to our state. It is important that brand is genuine and can be perceived to be credible by a whole range of people who make an active choice to purchase a Tasmanian product.

In that light I want to put on the record concerns that have been raised about the need to create environmental laws in Tasmania that underpin the functioning of the Tasmanian marine environment so that the Tasmanian salmon industry can claim genuine environmental protections, genuine environmental sustainability for their products, so that we can shore up the credibility of the brand in relation to clean and green because clean and green means something real. It means we have waters which are pure, waters which are functioning for a health ecosystem. It means that people who are living outside Tasmania can feel confident when they purchase a Tasmanian product, that it is what it says it claims to be.

In these days of social media, information can unfortunately be transmitted all too rapidly when people have concerns about a product. In addition to this bill, this Government has within its ability to shore up our environmental laws because at the moment it is not doing what it needs to do to protect the marine environment, to give consumers a say and to give the community a say over the expansion of the salmon industry. Clearly you have a situation when key members of a scientific panel - key scientists - resign in protest because they believe the science and the report produced from that panel is not based on good science. What we are finding is that has an effect. It has an effect not just on the members of the panel who resigned, but it has an effect on the integrity of the claim for clean and green and for a sustainable marine environment.

I ask the Premier to really listen to the concerns of the Australian Marine Conservation Society which downgraded Tasmanian salmon from being on an amber alert to being a red flag so that the Sustainable Seafood Guide now says to Australian consumers, 'Don't not buy Tasmanian salmon'. We should all be really concerned about that. It is not good for our reputation as a state to have that red flag, and the red flag did not come from any other reason

Ms O'Connor - It grew too fast.

Dr WOODRUFF - It is not good for our reputation as a state and to have that red flag, which did not come from any other reason other than this Liberal Government failing to put in place an independence over the management of the Tasmanian salmon industry so that the Macquarie Harbor ecological collapse that has occurred falls at their feet. The expansion that is happening into Storm Bay, the approval the Premier gave to Huon Aquaculture and Tassal, seemingly against the advice of key scientists on the marine farming panel, with a corrupted process that did not give the community and other stakeholders a say, and did not attend to the concerns of the Derwent Estuary Program about serious risks to the Derwent Estuary as a result of salmon farming in Storm Bay. Clearly this signals something. If the Premier is not listening, the Australian Conservation Marine Society is listening and it has downgraded Tasmanian salmon. This is something we have to act on. It potentially has effect on a whole range of other products exported out of Tasmania.

I conclude by saying thank you very much to Christine Milne and her visionary understanding about what clean and green could be. The Greens are calling on the Premier to act to shore up Brand Tasmania in the ways it needs to be done by creating laws that work to protect our environment.

Ms O'Connor - Hear, hear.