Greens’ Leader, Cassy O’Connor MP:
The Hodgman Government’s announcement that they’ve listened to the community and will ban fish farming in the Mercury Passage is a desperate election-year attempted fix that will fool no one. The Liberals have declared their intention to sacrifice Okehampton Bay on the altar of political expediency, to deflect from their refusal to listen to the community and their unsustainable fish farm expansion plans.
The Liberals have chosen to favour their corporate connections over locals’ wishes and the marine environment.
Minister Rockliff, in his Facebook video announcement, appears as the snake oil salesman who’s been given the job of trying to fool Lyons voters into believing the government cares about the East Coast marine environment.
The Hodgman Government approved the expansion of fish farming into Okehampton Bay last year and refused to listen to the concerns of residents, recreational fishers, tourism operators or commercial fishers about its impacts on them.
The Liberals are not listening to the community on fish farm expansion. Not a single Liberal or Labor MP was present at the Triabunna fish farm public meeting in March, attended by hundreds of East Coast locals.
Neither Labor nor the Liberals are standing with the East Coast community, it’s only the Greens who are their representative voice in State Parliament.
Greens’ Marine Environment spokesperson, Rosalie Woodruff MP:
The Okehampton Bay lease is inside the Mercury Passage, but has been given an exemption to the ban. The marine environment doesn’t exist within lines on a map.
Tourists flock to Tasmania’s East Coast. Its clear waters and famous coastlines bring people from across the world.
The Government’s unreleased “development plan” for the fish farm industry will never succeed unless they come out of their bunker and have a conversation with all stakeholders in the open.
Industrial-scale expansion of this industry is happening on the East Coast and in Storm Bay without proper scrutiny or discussion about the wider environmental and social impacts.
Locals were denied a say on Okehampton Bay. If the Liberals were actually interested in hearing what the community had to say, they would have engaged with them in the process from the start.
The Hodgman Government needs to stop their political spin, and open their arms to the environment and the community instead of prioritising industry interests.
Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens’ Leader Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens’ Marine Environment spokesperson