Gutwein's Free Kick for Big Salmon

Today’s move by the Tasmanian Government to exempt salmon farming companies from paying local council rates is yet another example of government cronyism and ignores polling that shows a large majority of Tasmanians want salmon companies to pay local government rates.

August 2017 polling by ReachTEL showed a whopping 70 per cent of Tasmanians agree salmon companies should be paying rates to local government from profits of more than $66 million.

This week volunteers from the Strahan Community had to clean up marine debris from Macquarie Harbour. So local communities are meant to clean up after stock market listed companies, but Minister Gutwein won’t allow local councils to ask for a small contribution towards cleaning up the mess?

As West Coast Council pointed out – Forestry pay rates, mining pay rates – why not salmon?

If Minister Gutwein wants equality, he should introduce laws that allow all local councils to charge rates to clean up the pollution from industrial salmon farming. His so-called equality – which gives one sector benefits other companies don’t get and relies on local communities to clean up the mess – is so glaringly unbalanced it treats Tasmanians as though they’re stupid. It also ignores their clearly expressed views that big salmon companies should be chipping in.

And that's before we even get to talking about who is responsible for cleaning up the mess under the water - like Tassal's dead zone in Macquarie Harbour - where not a single fine has been issued and Tassal has operated in breach of regulations for at least six months.

Read the ABC news article here.


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