Below, unedited, is the Tasmanian Government’s March 31, 2017, press release following the recent protest by Environment Tasmania in front of Tassal store in Hobart. Read also the subsequent editorial titled “Editorial: The power of compromise” in the Mercury:
The Mercury’s position is straightforward.
Aquaculture is vital for the future of the state’s economy. Absolutely vital. We want to see it do well.
It creates desperately needed jobs at a time when unemployment and under-employment remain among our greatest blights.
But it needs to be sustainable and we make no apologies for shining a light on when this may have failed. The debacle that Macquarie Harbour is fast becoming cannot be allowed to persist.
31 March 2017
Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water
Salmon stunt an attack on hard working Tasmanians
Today’s stunt by Environment Tasmania protestors forcing Tassal to close its store in Hobart is nothing more than an attack on hard working Tasmanians.
Just like the forestry campaigns of the past, the Greens and their anti-job mates are now targeting Tasmania’s world class salmon industry which directly and indirectly supports more than 5200 FTE jobs, many of which are in regional areas like the West Coast, Huon and Channel region, Tasman Peninsula, Tamar Estuary, North-West Coast and Northern Midlands.
Salmon is Tasmania’s most valuable interstate food trade item estimated at more than $700 million and we should all be proud of its enviable reputation.
The Government wants to see the industry grow sustainably which is why we recently introduced changes to strengthen regulation and penalties to retain the confidence of the community.
This includes increased independence through a transfer of environmental monitoring and regulation of the salmon industry to the independent Environmental Protection Authority; and tougher penalties for breaches.
The Tasmanian Liberal Government is the strongest supporter of our world-class salmon industry, which is highly regarded for its quality products and sustainability.
It is a sad day for Tasmania when environmentalists are prepared to ignore the independent science around salmon farming and try to sabotage the jobs of hard working regional Tasmanians.