28 January 2024

The Albanese Government’s weakness has been called out by Federal Opposition Leader Peter Dutton and Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff following their visit to salmon industry workers on the West Coast of Tasmania.

The review into salmon farming initiated by inner-Sydney based Labor Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has shellshocked the 400 West Coast workers that directly rely on Macquarie Harbour salmon farming, left the regional town of Strahan on the brink and sent shockwaves among over 5,000 Tasmanian salmon workers that are fearful for their livelihoods in the $1.3 billion industry.

The Prime Minister’s bizarre visit to southern Tasmania only a week ago left workers none the wiser to their fate and further exposed the cowardly and two-sided nature of his Labor Government, who on the one hand want to satisfy extreme Green-aligned groups like the Bob Brown Foundation, Australia Institute and the Labor-funded Environmental Defenders Office, but on the other say that they support salmon jobs.

This contrasts to the Federal Coalition and State Liberal Government’s visit to Strahan and commitment to back in the sustainable industry and regional jobs that seem to be anathema to the current Labor Government.

Leader of the Opposition Peter Dutton:

“The fact is that we’ve got a political decision that’s been driven by radical environmental groups and presided over by Tanya Plibersek which is likely to adversely affect this community.”

“The Prime Minister wants to talk out of both sides of his mouth. He says one thing here in Tasmania and says something very different when he’s in the inner city talking to people who might vote for the Greens or might vote for Labor.”

“We’ve got to start standing up for sectors like this, and I just ask the Prime Minister to join with us in showing leadership.”

Premier of Tasmania Jeremy Rockliff:

“The actions being taken by Federal Labor and Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek is causing significant unrest among the west coast community and businesses. If you take away the workers, you take away the local school teacher and nurse.

“The Federal Labor Government need to end the uncertainty, and to secure the hundreds of jobs that are hanging in the balance.”

Shadow Environment Minister Jonno Duniam:

“Tanya Plibersek is only trying to win Greens votes in Sydney and Melbourne and is prepared to throw regional communities like Strahan under the bus to get them. This is a political process where the Labor Government have part funded one of the claimants – the Environmental Defenders Office – to the tune of $8.3 million. The uncertainty these communities are facing would not have happened under a Coalition Government.”

Federal Liberal Member for Braddon Gavin Pearce:

“I’m a passionate advocate for the worlds-best-practice salmon industry and for the heavy economic lifting our fishing, forestry and mining operations do more broadly. The hard-working folk of the West Coast has no better friend or fiercer advocate the me.”

Liberal Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck:

“Labor have created unnecessary uncertainty for the Tasmanian salmon industry and every other holder of an environmental approval by pandering to activists and opening up for the first time ever an approval that had been in place for over a decade.”