EPA alters law overnight to protect Tassal - Environment Tasmania

EPA alters law overnight to protect Tassal in Federal Court proceedings

Tasmania’s peak environment group is calling for the resignation of EPA Director Wes Ford, after the EPA rewrote the legal instrument governing salmon allocations in Macquarie Harbour, in response to court proceedings initiated by Huon Aquaculture yesterday. 

Yesterday Australia’s second largest fisheries company, Huon Aquaculture, announced court action seeking an order that Tassal, Australia’s largest fisheries company, is in breach of fish volume allocations for Macquarie Harbour. Based on the legal instrument issued by EPA Director Wes Ford on May 31st, Tassal were in breach of fish volume allocations.

Tasmania’s EPA responded to the breach through rewriting the legal instrument to increase Tassal’s allocation.

“With multiple court proceedings and now laws being rewritten overnight, Premier Hodgman’s governance failure in Macquarie Harbour has reached crisis point. In order to jobs and return some certainty for investors, Premier Hodgman must demand the resignation of EPA Director, Mr Wes Ford,” stated Laura Kelly, Strategy Director at Environment Tasmania.

“Through rewriting laws overnight to protect Tassal, the EPA has created confusion that is undermining investor certainty – as evidenced by share price drops and the confusion and contradictions in company statements to the ASX yesterday.”

“Jobs and investment are being put at risk by Premier Hodgman’s failure to clean up the EPA’s governance mess in Macquarie Harbour, and all the while marine life is suffocating and Brand Tasmania is becoming synonymous with dead zones and faecal mounds.”

“The Premier must remove Mr Ford and reinstate the EPA’s official biomass decision, which should never have been altered retrospectively to protect one company from legal investigations. This not only undermines faith in the salmon industry, it undermines Tasmanians’ and the investment community’s faith in the independent of the Tasmanian Government,” Ms Kelly says.