A controversial project to expand salmon farming into Commonwealth waters has come under fire from the Greens for its lack of transparency and consultation.
It comes following revelations that Tasmanian and Federal Governments have chosen their “offshore” salmon farm trial site just 3-6 nautical miles directly off the coast of Burnie and opened a public consultation process without informing anyone.
Public submissions for the project opened February 4 but it appears the project’s partner - the Blue Economy CRC - might not have known about this public consultation process itself until a week later.
Quotes attributable to Greens Senator for lutruwita/Tasmania, Peter Whish-Wilson:
“This toxic industry has proven time and time again that it cannot be trusted, and now this project is failing at the first hurdle.
“I don’t think putting a fish farm 3-6 nautical miles off the coast of one of our state’s largest cities is what people would have in mind when they think about ‘offshore’ fisheries.
“The Commonwealth Government apparently opened public submissions for this project on February 4, but it seems they forgot to tell anyone and the project’s partner - Blue Economy CRC - might not have known until a week later when they published a media release on their own website.
“This project is off to a bad start and the public now have just nine days to raise any concerns with the Federal Government. It’s no wonder the community has no confidence in this industry.
“You can’t use public funds to go into public waters only to keep the whole thing a secret. It’s what happened in Storm Bay when over $6 million in public funds was spent assessing the impacts of the industry’s expansion in the area - only to never be released - and now this.
“This is an industry that cannot contain its mess at a local scale, and it’s doing very little to instil trust that it will behave appropriately in Commonwealth waters.
“The Greens will continue to be vigilant, ask questions and demand full transparency on this trial.”