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Premier Concedes Tassie Salmon Not "World's Best Practice"

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Marine Environment spokesperson

The Premier downgraded his assessment of the salmon industry’s practices as being “very good” in Parliament today.  Not even the Liberals can continue to claim Tasmania's salmon farming industry is “world’s best practice”.

Tasmanians are becoming increasingly aware of the massive, and likely permanent, damage to Macquarie Harbour from intensive fish farming, and the legal action being taken against the government for regulatory mismanagement.  No one's being fooled anymore. 

Fish Farm Goal-Shifting

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Environment spokesperson

The Minister for Primary Industries, Jeremy Rockliff, has announced he plans to regulate where salmon farm expansions can occur in the future, and it will "most likely be in oceanic waters".

The timing of this announcement is very convenient for one salmon company. The Minister’s hand-picked Panel has just approved an expansion by Tassal to the warm inshore waters of the East Coast, and a day later he announces he will regulate the “sustainable growth of the industry” into oceanic areas.

Okehampton Bay Decision

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Environment spokesperson

It's no surprise the Minister's hand-picked panel have agreed with Minister Rockliff and recommended approving Tassal's operations at Okehampton Bay.  The same company responsible for creating dead zones in the West has been given the go-ahead to expand into Tasmania's East Coast.

The green light delivered by the so-called "independent" Marine Farming Planning Review Panel to farm salmon in Okehampton Bay was a foregone conclusion.

Government Caves to Pressure on IMAS Report

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Environment spokesperson

After significant pressure, the government has caved in and released the damning IMAS report on the state of Macquarie Harbour.

The report lays bare the government’s negligence and their contempt for the environment in their rush to bow to industry. 

The IMAS report contains research from the 1980s and 90s that showed Macquarie Harbour then as one of the worst conceivable places in Tasmania for farming salmon.

Macquarie Harbour Farms Destroy World Heritage Values

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Environment spokesperson

The salmon industry's pollution of Macquarie Harbour is irrefutable.  By directing the destocking of salmon from the Franklin lease, the EPA has admitted the environmental damage that's occurred to the harbour and the adjoining World Heritage Area. 

Last September, the same lease had 14 non-compliances issued, due to excessive pollution of the surrounding environment.  It's clear those warnings were substantially ignored.

Government Must Release IMAS Report

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Environment spokesperson

Late last year, the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies produced a report for government on the health of Macquarie Harbour. 

The  ‘January 2017 Environmental Research in Macquarie Harbour’ report is understood to be behind Huon Aquaculture’s decision to launch actions in the Supreme Court of Tasmania and the Federal Court of Australia.

The government must release the IMAS report publicly, and explain why it was hidden.  

Huon Aquaculture Legal Action

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Environment spokesperson

Huon Aquaculture has launched action in the Supreme Court of Tasmania and Federal Court of Australia because of the Liberal Government’s short-term, opaque and partisan so-called 'regulation' of fish farming in Macquarie Harbour.

This shows the depth of the Liberals’ failure to act responsibly and in the long-term interests of regional jobs.  It also demonstrates the government's unwillingness to heed warnings, even from industry itself.

Tassal Dam at Taxpayers' Expense and Ratepayers' Risk

Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens' Environment spokesperson

Glamorgan-Spring Bay Council’s decision to approve the construction of the dam, paid for from a Treasury loan, will means ratepayers are stumping up funds for the next 30 years to benefit a large private company.

Glamorgan-Spring Bay is a small council and this Treasury loan will increase their net debt by 1000%, from $661,000 to $6.6 million.

It’s an unfortunately typical Tasmanian tale of private companies working behind closed government doors, on a deal where taxpayers pick up the tab.

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