Greens spokesperson for Healthy Oceans, Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, is calling on the federal Environment Minister, Josh Frydenberg, to break his silence on Macquarie Harbour and to publicly release the audit report sitting on his desk.
Senator Peter Whish-Wilson said, “Is it too much to ask to have a federal Environment Minister who actually wants to protect the environment? There is ongoing damage to the World Heritage Area in Macquarie Harbour from overstocking of fish farms and the Minister has remained silent.
“Despite unrelenting breaches of state environmental law and material impacts to the World Heritage Area, we are yet to see Josh Frydenberg actually perform his role as federal Environment Minister and intervene to protect the environment.
“The aquaculture industry in Macquarie Harbour is operating under a decision made by a former Government whereby they would only be exempted from full federal oversight subject to meeting certain conditions. These conditions have not been met and the federal Environment Minister is now obliged to intervene.
“I wrote to the Federal Minister calling on him to conduct and publish a compliance audit back in November last year. On February 27th this year, the Environment Department said in Senate Estimates that they conducted a compliance audit two-weeks prior.
“This compliance audit was undertaken over three months ago and clearly is now sitting on the Minister’s desk. The Minister needs to release this audit now,” he concluded.