Tasmania goes to the polls this week with salmon farming on the agenda

Editorial Staff

.A recent YouGov poll highlighted that 69% of Tasmanians back the reduction of inshore salmon sites, compared to only 22% who oppose it.

After months of speculation surrounding the possibility of an early election and amidst efforts to sustain minority government stability, on 14 February Tasmanian Premier Jeremy Rockliff, announced a snap election for Saturday, 23 March, marking the decision to cut short a four-year term just three years in.

Rockliff underscored his rationale for the early election by emphasizing the need for stability through majority government, expressing concern over potential political deadlock.

With the electoral campaign now underway, one of the central issues likely to dominate discussions is the future of salmon farming in Tasmania. The aquaculture sector has come under intense scrutiny in recent years due to environmental concerns surrounding the proliferation of salmon farms in inshore waters.

Polling data indicates a significant shift in public sentiment, with a majority of Tasmanian voters expressing support for reducing the number of inshore salmon sites and implementing tighter regulations on the industry. A recent YouGov poll highlighted that 69% of Tasmanians back the reduction of inshore salmon sites, compared to only 22% who oppose it. Additionally, 57% of voters support banning political donations from industries such as gambling, salmon farming, and property development.

The Australia Institute’s polling research further emphasizes the electorate’s concerns, revealing widespread support for action on integrity in politics, salmon farming practices, forestry management, and housing affordability. Eloise Carr, Director of the Australia Institute Tasmania, stressed that voters are demanding meaningful change, particularly regarding the environmental impact of salmon farming and the need for a new, fit-for-purpose anti-corruption commission.

The significance of salmon farming as a campaign issue reflects the broader environmental consciousness among Tasmanian voters and the growing concern about the industry’s impact on marine ecosystems. As the major parties navigate the electoral landscape, their approach to addressing these concerns and proposing viable solutions will undoubtedly shape the outcome of the election.

Tasmania’s proportional Hare Clark electoral system adds complexity to the political landscape, potentially necessitating power-sharing or coalition arrangements to form government. This could have broader implications beyond the state’s borders, given Tasmania’s role as a significant contributor to Australia’s salmon farming industry and its influence on national environmental policy discussions.


Related Articles