Senate debates

Thursday, 22 June 2017


Aquaculture Industry

12:18 pm

Photo of Peter Whish-WilsonPeter Whish-Wilson (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes:

  (i) the damage caused to the Macquarie Harbour World Heritage Area, including the threat to the endangered Maugean Skate, as a result of the overstocking of salmon farms in the harbour,

  (ii) the proceedings brought by Huon Aquaculture in the Federal Court and the Tasmanian Supreme Court against the Tasmanian Government for failing to properly regulate salmon farming by Tassal in Macquarie Harbour,

  (iii) that the Commonwealth is investigating whether conditions imposed as part of the 2012 expansion of salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour have been breached,

  (iv) the decision of the Hodgman Government to grant permission to Tassal to establish an 800 000 fish salmon farm in Okehampton Bay on Tasmania's pristine east coast, and

  (v) concerns from a wide cross-section of the community over the proposed Okehampton Bay salmon farm, including the concerns expressed by around 1 000 people who attended FloatMo in Hobart on 18 June 2017; and

(b) calls on the Hodgman Government to withdraw permission for a salmon farm in Okehampton Bay given the record of atrocious mismanagement and poor regulation of Tasmania's aquaculture industry.

Photo of James McGrathJames McGrath (Queensland, Liberal National Party, Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Tasmania's world-class salmon industry and the 5,200 regional jobs it supports produce a premium product, including fresh and smoked salmon. Given proceedings before the Federal Court, it is not appropriate to comment in relation to Macquarie Harbour. Other proposals will be considered in accordance with national environmental law. The coalition government will continue to work with all parties to support sustainable growth and jobs and promote Brand Tasmania. We urge all sectors of the industry to work together to help achieve this outcome.

12:19 pm

Photo of Katy GallagherKaty Gallagher (ACT, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I seek leave to make a short statement.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Labor opposes this motion. Senator Whish-Wilson's motion makes a number of allegations that prejudge matters that are before the courts. Labor considers this motion to be an unfounded attack by Senator Whish-Wilson and the Greens on the thousands of Tasmanians who work in the industry, both on-farm and throughout the supply chain. Labor supports a well managed finfish industry in Tasmania. The Senate references inquiry into the Tasmanian finfish industry found that there was no justification for further regulations, but that additional resources were required for the management of the industry. The Tasmanian Liberal government has failed to make adequate investments in the management of that industry.

Photo of Sue LinesSue Lines (WA, Deputy-President) Share this | | Hansard source

The question is that general business notice of motion 382 as moved by Senator Whish-Wilson be agreed to.