Environment Tasmania is deeply concerned about the EPA’s decision to extend the period Tassal is able to act in breach of the law at its Franklin lease in Macquarie Harbour, where all marine life is dead to 500 metres beyond the lease site. The Director of the state’s peak environment group, Laura Kelly, argues there is no evidence to justify the EPA’s claim that this won’t worsen the environmental crisis in the harbour.
“The EPA are saying extending Tassal's dead zone operation won’t make matters worse, but fail to present any evidence that pumping more feed and faeces in the harbour won’t increase harm to the harbour and endangered Maugean Skate,” said Laura Kelly Environment Tasmania.
“This week Tassal reported profits of $20.5 million for 6 months and said that ‘leaving the salmon in the water longer’ helped deliver this. And yet Mark Ryan continues to say they can’t harvest their dead zone for ‘logistical and safety reasons’. This has become farcical – it’s starting to look like Tassal is just taking the piss, and with their mates in government in their pocket, they haven't even received a fine for breaking the law," Ms Kelly said.
“This isn’t safe or ethical, and Huon’s court case will test whether it’s also illegal, or if the Hodgman Government’s regulations are so broken they will let Mark Ryan make a few extra million at the expense of rare endangered species and the well-being of workers in other salmon companies,” Ms Kelly said.
"Huon's results showed that you can deliver jobs and profits without creating dead zones. Minister Rockliff and Mark Ryan need to stop saying this is about jobs - this is all about Mark Ryan's profits," said Laura Kelly, Environment Tasmania.
"Did this government learn nothing from Gunns? No matter how they vote, Tasmanian's won't stand for corrupt decisions that favour the profits of one company over the interests of other companies and the community," Ms Kelly said.
Comment: 0401 559 335.