‘I will not stand by and allow bureaucrats to kill off our salmon industry’

Matthew Wilcox

The Tasmanian salmon industry, centred around Macquarie Harbour, contributes in excess of US$420 million annually to the state’s economy.

The leader of Tasmania’s state government has fired a warning shot in what looks to be a battle between the Australia’s state and federal governments over the future of salmon farming in the country.

On Tuesday, SalmonBusiess reported on how Australia’s Environment Minister had warned that the Australian state’s salmon industry might face as a halt in an effort to protect a rare type of skate found in Tasmania’s Macquarie Harbour.

Macquarie Harbour is home to a number of sites belonging to JBS-owned Huon, Sealord backed Petuna and Cooke-owned Tassal.

In a letter addressed to Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff, Australia’s Minister for the Environment, Tanya Plibersek, raised the possibility of suspending farming operations in the area.

Rockliff responded unequivocally on social media platform X, emphasizing his commitment to defending Tasmania’s salmon industry and its associated jobs against potential federal intervention.

“I want to be clear. I will not stand by and allow bureaucrats in Canberra to kill off our salmon industry, or any other jobs on the west coast,” Rockliff wrote.

Rockliff reaffirmed the state government’s commitment to the salmon industry, highlighting its role as a provider in the state.

“We endorse the industry wholeheartedly, championing the employment opportunities it generates for Tasmanian families, enabling them to provide sustenance and meet mortgage obligations, which are steadily climbing due to Federal Labor policy parameters,” Rockliff said.

He further asserted that any decision to suspend operations, as proposed by Minister Plibersek, would jeopardize more than 350 jobs across Tasmania.

Tasmania’s salmon industry, centred around Macquarie Harbour, contributes in excess of AUD $650 million (US$420 million) annually to the Tasmanian economy. The salmon sector directly employs approximately 2,000 staff and supports more than 3,000 associated jobs, according to the Tasmanian government.


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