Malcolm Turnbull's Maria Island praise should sink fish farm plan: Brown

Media Release 12 Aug 2016


Malcolm Turnbull's past promotion of World Heritage status for Maria Island's convict heritage at Darlington should, of itself, put paid to plans for industrialisation of Okehampton Bay and the Mercury Passage on Tasmania's east coast, Bob Brown said today.

Dr Brown has written to UNESCO pointing to Mr Turnbull's advocacy of Darlington, opposite Okehampton Bay. In 2007, when Australia's Minister for the Environment, he placed the Darlington convict heritage on Maria Island on the Australian National Heritage list, claiming that ‘with a natural environment setting that has few competing elements, the precinct possesses a rare sense of place.’

As Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull should insist this damaging proposal be subject to federal scrutiny under provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (1999).

'The setting and precinct which is vital to an appreciation of the convict heritage on Maria Island would be degraded by fish farm industrialisation marring the view field toward mainland Tasmania, day and night,' Brown said today. His foundation is writing to UNESCO quoting the Prime Minister's previous accolade and citing Tassal's plans for fish farming as an ascertained and and potential danger to the World Heritage site which would be 'irrevocably compromised should the proposed industrial fish farm proceed'.

The Tasmanian government's decision to subject Tassal's proposal to review should be the plan's death knell, even though it has no community environmental representation. However, in making his announcement, Tasmanian minister Jeremy Rockliff backed more regional fish farms despite the despoiling impact they are having on marine, and coastal lifestyle, environmental and recreational values for regional communities in Tasmania. 'It was hardly the balanced announcement needed to reassure Tasmanians,' Brown said.

Media contact
Steven Chaffer  0408 855 261


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