The Morrison Government has responded six years late to a critical Senate Inquiry report on the regulation of the fin-fish aquaculture industry in Tasmania, staging the response slyly alongside its own government-led report on supporting the future of aquaculture.
The Government is required to respond to Senate Inquiry reports within three months of them being tabled.
Quotes attributable to Greens Senator for lutruwita/Tasmania, Peter Whish-Wilson:
“If the Coalition had put aside its obvious contempt for government process and the environment and instead acted on the report’s recommendations six years ago, the Tasmanian salmon industry and its reputation would be in a much less parlous state.
“The Tasmanian Government responded to the Senate Inquiry report by adopting one of its key recommendations - the establishment of an EPA, but it took the federal Coalition six years to produce a substandard piece of drivel.
“I moved for this inquiry in 2015 because the regulation of the fin-fish aquaculture industry in Tasmania had been a total disaster. The State Minster and regulators had failed spectacularly to protect the environment, including matters of national environmental significance. It was only thanks to pressure from the Greens that the Federal Environment Department finally visited Macquarie Harbour in Tasmania which led to the Tasmanian EPA ordering Tassal to de-stock its Atlantic salmon fish pens.
“In the years following the Senate Inquiry things have gotten much worse – millions of fish have been killed in their pens as our oceans have warmed and lax regulation has failed all parties involved. Local marine ecosystems and recreational fisheries have been trashed, and the industry’s reputation has been irrevocably damaged.
“This is one of 17 Senate Environment Committee reports that the government has been too lazy or contemptuous to respond to. Still missing is a response to a timely 2017 report on the impacts of climate change on our warming oceans, which is ironic considering the impact that has had on the salmon industry.”