Will Hodgman

Premier of Tasmania



17 February 2017

Guy Barnett, Liberal Member for Lyons

Unions at War on Fish Farms

Tasmania’s unions are anything but in solidarity with fish farm workers, with one factional heavyweight opposing new investment and new jobs on the East Coast.

While the AWU is supporting the aquaculture industry, the CFMEU’s Kevin Harkins is putting his personal political ambitions before Tasmanian workers.

Mr Harkins yesterday wrote on social media that the approval of the Okehampton Bay fish farm was a “joke”, putting him at odds with his union colleagues.

This is the same man who set up a front political party to harvest preferences for the Labor Party from recreational fishers during last year’s federal election, backed by $75,000 in donations from the CFMEU and CPU.

There’s no doubt that he’s looking to do it all again by running a scare campaign with no regard for the jobs of the 5200 Tasmanians employed in the aquaculture industry.

Rather than walking both sides of the fence, Labor and union leaders should pull Mr Harkins into line and put Tasmanian workers ahead of his personal political ambitions.

There is clearly a growing campaign by the Greens and their front groups – supported by opportunists like Mr Harkins – to do to aquaculture what they did to our forest industry.

The Glamorgan-Spring Bay community paid a heavy price from the sustained and brutal attacks on forestry, with some 96 per cent of jobs in the industry lost under the previous Labor-Green government.

This community and this industry must not be a political tool for the Greens and people like Mr Harkins.



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