The Hodgman Liberal Government is taking another important step to ensure Tasmania’s salmon industry remains world class and continues to be appropriately regulated with the release for public comment of new draft legislation.
We know how important the salmon industry is to Tasmania, including the 5200 people it employs, and we are committed to protecting those jobs and to increasing employment through the sustainable growth of the industry.
The draft Finfish Farming Environmental Regulation Bill 2017 further strengthens and consolidates the environmental regulation of finfish farming in Tasmania, and will help ensure the sustainable growth of the industry.
The draft Bill includes:
• The permanent and formal transfer of powers over day-to-day environmental regulation of the finfish farming industry from the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment (DPIPWE) to the independent Environment Protection Authority (currently this is done through a delegation of powers);
• Bringing together the environmental regulation of inland and marine finfish farming, including hatcheries, into a consolidated system under the Environment Protection Authority;
• Provisions which will provide the independent Environment Protection Authority Director with a clear statutory role for ongoing environmental regulation of the State’s finfish farming industry. This means salmonid companies will require a new Environmental Licence under Tasmania’s Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA);
• Powers for the declaration of finfish marine farming exclusion zones, or “No Grow Zones’’ – the first of which will be in the greater Mercury Passage.
This important draft legislation builds on measures we are already undertaking, including the re-introduction of demerit points and significantly tougher penalties for breaches of licence conditions, so companies could be fined millions of dollars or face a loss of licence.
It also dovetails the development of Tasmania’s first Sustainable Industry Growth Plan for the salmon industry, which will be released in coming months.
The Hodgman Liberal Government is the strongest supporter of the salmon industry and the 5200 jobs it supports, but we also acknowledge community concern which is why we are continually improving the regulatory system to ensure the industry’s long-term viability and sustainability.
The Draft Finfish Farming Environmental Regulation Bill 2017, along with an Explanatory Paper, is available on the DPIPWE website. To read and make a comment go to: http://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/salmonreform
Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water