Tasmania’s peak environment group has questioned the value of so called ‘no go’ zones for salmon farming announced today by the Hodgman Government.
“This is a sham announcement that marks ‘no go zones’ in areas which were never suitable for salmon farming in the first place, but does nothing to address the actual points of conflict in the industry, like Macquarie Harbour and Okehampton Bay, where 48% of Tasmanians don’t want salmon farming but Tassal has walked away with everything that it wants," said Laura Kelly, Environment Tasmania.
“Even more concerning is that this new legislation allows the government to reverse these ‘no go’ zones at any point, and the act doesn’t require them to consult with the community before they do this.”
“Nor does the act require any community consultation on significant expansion of existing farms or new farms within the ‘go zone’, or gaurantee a right of appeal on the Minister’s decision for any party but the salmon industry.”
Environment Tasmania also raised concerns that there has been no community consultation prior to release of the salmon industry growth plan.
"This growth plan has been a test of Premier Hodgman's ability to restore the community's faith in his governance of big salmon," says Laura Kelly, Environment Tasmania. "Unfortunately the Premier has failed that test."
"Refusing to even consult with impacted commercial fishing, rec fishing, tourism and environment groups has only inflamed the conflict surrounding big salmon's expansion and current damage around the coast.”
"If the industry wants a social licence that delivers consumer confidence that their product is sustainable and healthy, they need an independent government that actually listens to the community's concerns about lost fishing grounds, lost tourism amenity, and threats to endangered species," Ms Kelly says.