Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania

18 January 2018

Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Primary Industries and Water

King Island salmon farming proposal

The decision by some businesses on King Island to boycott Tasmanian salmon is unfortunate, and I urge them to reconsider.

It is unfair to all salmon companies, particularly their employees and potentially sets an extremely dangerous precedent for an Island economy largely reliant on primary industries.

I understand the concerns raised by several food businesses on the island but it is important to note that at this stage, all Tassal has proposed is to explore environmental conditions to determine if they are suitable for farming salmon.

To take the proposal any further, considerable community consultation will be required.

Further, any proposal to actually farm fish must go through an extensive statutory approval process, including adherence to strict criteria and independent assessment through the Marine Farm Planning Review Panel. This would likely take years.

I encourage King Islanders to keep an open mind about this proposal, to at least gain an understanding of what might be possible.

Our salmon industry supports more than 5000 jobs already and dozens more jobs could be created on King Island if this proposal were to come to fruition.

There is no denying that King Island is a stunning location, loved by locals and visitors.

The Hodgman Government understands this and will not allow anything to happen which comprises the King Island brand.

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