Dr WOODRUFF question to MINISTER for PRIMARY INDUSTRIES and WATER, Mr ROCKLIFF
You ruled out relocating seals to the north-west of Tasmania starting in December, after the height of the seal breeding season, but not to relocations completely. This sounds like an election protection policy for your members in Braddon, where Mr Brooks apparently only woke up to the issue a short time after putting up his last billboard.
Dr WOODRUFF - How long will you allow male seals to be locked up together before their release?
Madam SPEAKER - Order. The member will cease asking her questions while I remind members on my right not to interrupt when the question is being asked even if you do not like the content. The minister is given an opportunity to answer the question or refute any allegations therein.
Dr WOODRUFF - How long will you allow male seals to be locked up together before they are released into nearby waters where they will just swim straight back with the possibility of being killed?
Despite posting record profits and knowing this was a major animal welfare issue for years, Tassal continues to drag its heels over investing in seal-proof netting. Will you commit that your seal management plan does not become a de facto seal cull?
Madam Speaker, I thank the member for her question. No, it will not become a de facto seal cull. Seal relocation will cease by Christmas this year.
Other companies manage this, and Tassal will have to do the same. I am not sure if you are doing Tassal's bidding or not, Dr Woodruff, but it sounds like you are doing Tassal's bidding. It is a little surprising from the Greens.
This has been a contentious issue for fishermen on the north-west coast, both commercial and recreational. We have listened, we have acted, and we have ceased the practice that has been going on for 15 years.
My understanding is there was a previous commitment from Labor to cease the practice in 2011. Where were you when you were in government in 2010-11 right through to 2014?
Opposition members interjecting.
Madam SPEAKER - Order.
Mr ROCKLIFF - The Government listens and acts. This is a policy of the Government. We will work with the companies on developing a new seal management framework. That is the sensible and commonsense thing to do. All fishermen across the north-west coast will be delighted with today's decisive announcement as a result of listening to our community.
Ms O'CONNOR - Point of order, Madam Speaker. Standing Order 45 on relevance. The minister was asked about whether this would be a cull or not.
Madam SPEAKER - No, members know I allowed significant latitude with the asking of that question. There is usually quite a lengthy story that goes on before the asking of numerous questions. You therefore lose the right to even quote Standing Order 45 at me. You know the ruling.
Ms O'Connor - What are they going to do with those seals?
Madam SPEAKER - Order. The Deputy Leader has the call.