Skip to content
Environment, Government TAS

Experts and community representatives slam major parties’ salmon policies

Australia Institute Tasmania 2 mins read

The major parties’ decision to continue to support the salmon industry ignores scientific evidence of environmental impacts, uses discredited jobs figures, and is out of step with voters, the Australia Institute warns.

Scientific and legal experts, community groups and the Australia Institute have slammed the major parties continued support for the industry, announced yesterday and today.

A public forum to discuss the future of salmon farming in Tasmania is being held in Ulverstone tomorrow, Saturday 2 March. Panellists’ responses are quoted below.

Key points:

  • The continued support for the salmon industry ignores the 3 in 4 (74%) who Tasmanians who support the Parliamentary Inquiry recommendation to move fish farms out of sheltered, inshore waters.
  • Claims the salmon industry ‘employs around 5,000 Tasmanians’ are incorrect. Australian Bureau of Statistics data finds salmon farming in Tasmania provides between 1,100 to 1,700 jobs, less than 1% of the state’s employment.
    • Over 80% of these jobs are in Hobart and the Southeast, with just 11% of salmon industry jobs in the Macquarie Harbour area.
  • Claims that stopping aquaculture on the West Coast would ‘force around 400 Tasmanians out of a job’ are also misleading. Census data for employment on Tasmania’s west coast shows that employment in the salmon industry is between 54-76 full time equivalent jobs. This equates to 2.5-3.6% of total employment in the area.
  • The industry does not pay tax – in fact taxpayers continue to subsidise the industry despite commitments to fully cost recover.
  • The major parties do not mention the endangered Maguean skate, teetering on the brink of extinction, nor the overwhelming scientific evidence of the environmental impacts of the industry.
  • A federal government review of salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour is currently underway, based on new scientific evidence.

Eloise Carr, director, Australia Institute Tasmania:

“Salmon farming is a heavily subsidised industry, a tiny employer, does not pay tax, and causes massive damage to coastal waters. There is so little benefit in salmon farming for Tasmanians.

"Tasmanians want fish farms out of sheltered inshore waters. Nowhere is this more urgent than Macquarie Harbour. Whether for relocation, retraining, income insurance, or perhaps start-up funds for another industry in the area, support should be provided as it when businesses are forced to close for economic reasons.

"Taxpayers’ money should be used according to verifiable data, not industry spin. The salmon industry appears to be using discredited methods to exaggerate its economic importance but hasn’t made the analysis behind its distorted jobs claims public.

Louise Cherrie, independent environmental consultant and former member of the EPA Board and Marine Farming Review Panel:

“Regional jobs have been weaponised but they are not an excuse to pollute. Sustainable long-term jobs can be had onshore.

Peter George, President of Neighbours of Fish Farms:

"Argentina and Washington State have banned open-cage fish farms and Canada is in the process of doing the same. Our major political parties’ responses are disgusting. They are hoodwinking Tasmanians about what’s going on under the surface."

Jess Holgersson, Senior Associate, Equity Generation Lawyers

“The federal government’s review of salmon farming in Mac Harbour should focus on new scientific evidence and is not required to take account of socio-economic impacts.”

Contact details:

Eloise Carr 0414 704 709 / Georgie Moore 0421 943 293

More from this category

  • Community, Environment
  • 24/04/2024
  • 10:27
City of Sydney

Sydney Park greener and more accessible than ever

Sydney Park now has nearly 200 new native trees, more electric barbecues, picnic areas, seating and toilets after the City of Sydney’s major rectification…

  • Contains:
  • Environment, Finance Investment
  • 24/04/2024
  • 09:12
La Trobe University

La Trobe to purchase all renewable energy as it heads to Net Zero 2029

La Trobe University will purchase 100 per cent renewable energy as part of its commitment to be Net Zero by 2029. The University has entered into a Power Purchasing Agreement (PPA) with global energy leader Iberdrola, enabling it to purchase electricity from a renewable source, and by 2028 all electricity purchased will be 100 per cent emissions-free. The agreement paves the way for La Trobe to eliminate its single largest source of emissions. La Trobe’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Theo Farrell, said the agreement was part of the University’s ongoing commitment to being a sustainable leader, and is funded by its Sustainable…

  • Environment
  • 24/04/2024
  • 08:00
Engineers Australia

Government’s circular economy initiatives a significant step towards sustainability

Engineers Australia has welcomed the release of the Australian Government's Circular Economy Ministerial Advisory Group (CEMAG) Interim Report and the Environmentally Sustainable Procurement Policy (ESPP) as a significant step towards sustainability. “These initiatives aim to create tangible benefits for everyday Australians. By transitioning to a circular economy and environmentally sustainable procurement, we are safeguarding our planet for future generations while driving economic prosperity for everyone,” said Engineers Australia CEO Romilly Madew AO. The Environmentally Sustainable Procurement Policy, which takes effect on July 1, aims to ensure that government officials purchase goods and services that are environmentally friendly, reducing greenhouse gas…

  • Contains:

Media Outreach made fast, easy, simple.

Feature your press release on Medianet's News Hub every time you distribute with Medianet. Pay per release or save with a subscription.