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Marine Farming Planning Review Needs Amended Terms of Reference

Rosalie Woodruff MP

Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Tags: Environment, Fish Farms, East Coast, Okehampton Bay, Tassal, Mercury Passage, Tourism, Invasive Species

That the House:—

(1)           Understands that the Liberal Government fully supports the salmon industries’ plan to aggressively double the size of their industry by 2030 and that the east coast community widely believe the Okehampton Bay lease is just a wedge to expand Tassal’s growth into the Mercury Passage and beyond.

(2)           Recognises that the Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Hon Jeremy Rockliff MP, has finally heard the east coast’s outrage about the Okehampton Bay proposal, which has been widely rejected by local residents and shack owners, tourism operators, existing mussel and oyster farmers, abalone divers and recreational fishers.

(3)           Further understands that the Marine Farming Planning Review process that the Minister has now directed to assess Tassal’s expansion into Okehampton Bay is one designed by industry, for industry, and is a toothless tiger.

(4)           Notes that the Terms of Reference for the Panel have been deliberately restricted by the Minister for Primary Industries and Water to avoid addressing the fundamental concerns raised by the east coast community that would harm the development plans of the proponent.

(5)           Further recognises that if the Minister for Primary Industries and Water is serious about getting a social licence for fish farming in Tasmania he needs to expand its Terms of Reference to include a proper assessment of the social and economic impacts of fish farms; on threatened, migratory, and invasive species; and on cultural values, instead of the green-washing process he’s proposed.

(6)           Recognises that if the Liberal Government really wants to gain community confidence and avoid a fish war, this Review needs a scientific assessment process conducted by independent scientists, not the industry, with a long consultation period and open public hearings.

(7)           Calls on the Minister for Primary Industries and Water to protect the vulnerable marine environment, existing jobs and the community on the east coast, and to step in and regulate the fin-fish industry for the future so that it has broad scientific and community support and is sustainable in the true meaning of the word.