MINISTER BURKE MUST HOLD THE LINE ON SUPER TRAWLERS

Kim Booth MP, Greens Member for Bass

Kim Booth MP
Greens Primary Industries Spokesperson

The Tasmanian Greens today raised concerns about serious flaws in the Federal Government’s consultation process concerning the future operation of super trawlers in Australian waters.

Greens Fisheries spokesperson Kim Booth MP today released a letter from the Victorian Government minister responsible for fisheries, Peter Walsh, indicating that the Minister, like many in the community, believed that a two-year ban on super trawlers had been put in place by the Environment Minister Tony Burke.

Mr Booth said Australians need to know that Minister Burke will stand by his commitment given that a decision was imminent on whether the super trawler will be allowed to operate right now, while an expert panel makes carries out a review of the EPBC Act lasting up to two years.

“This letter shows that even the Victorian Minister in charge of fisheries believed that a two year moratorium was in place for super trawlers in Australian waters, when in fact the Minister could lift the ban any day now.”

“The fact that a State Government Minister was in the dark highlights to the inadequacy of the consultation process and the lack of transparency around the review currently being undertaken by Minister Burke.”

“The super trawler should not be allowed to operate until we have the science that would give us the confidence that it wouldn’t’ impact on fisheries and local ecosystem.

“Moreover we need to ensure that fisheries legislation is updated to include the precautionary principle rather than a wait and assess the damages approach. “

“Greens are continuing to receive signed petitions opposing the super trawler, demonstrating that the community is ready to rise up once again to defend the ocean from this marauder.”

“Mr Burke needs to hold his nerve in the face of intensive lobbying from the industry and deliver on his public commitment, or else he himself will become the focus of another storm of public outrage.”

October 22, 2012