AWU’s cynical vote harvesting over Macquarie Harbour - voting war hots up over salmon workers


The stunning hypocrisy of the national AWU wading into the controversy over Macquarie Harbour is predictable and desperate. (The Mercury, Feb 12, 2024). With a state election looming, the AWU is less interested in looking after the long-term welfare of West Coast workers than in short-term political gain.

"Trotting out well-worn, hollow insults about ordinary Tasmanians as "hysterical activists" doesn't persuade anyone," says Peter George, NOFF president. "That battle has already been lost as the majority of Tasmanians reject the salmon industry's destructive practices amid a rising threat to the health of Macquarie Harbour and the future of Maugean skate.
"This outburst from the AWU's mainland HQ is all about desperately attracting every last blue-collar vote for Labor in looming state elections. "In doing so, the AWU is doing the bidding of foreign-owned salmon companies with destructive environmental records, that avoid paying Australian tax and take their profits overseas.
"Those companies will walk away from Macquarie Harbour as profits fall in the face of warming waters and unsustainable practices.
"The AWU should be looking after the long-term interests of industry workers on the West Coast who deserve the AWU's support - and the support of all Tasmanians - in transitioning to sustainable industries."

And in one more indication Tasmania is sliding towards an early election, Premier Jeremy Rockliff has launched the Liberal Party's West Coast campaign with empty threats towards the Federal Government's review of industrial salmon in Macquarie Harbour.

"In calling for a speeded-up scientific review of the impact of the industry on the harbour and Maugean skate's potential extinction, Mr Rockliff is hoping to gain a head start in looming elections by offering hollow encouragement to West Coast workers," says Peter George, president of NOFF.
"Any caring, effective government would have started the process of transitioning to sustainable jobs and industries on the West Coast years ago. This is a potential crisis of the government's own making created by a failure of process, foresight and wilful ignorance.
"By trying to shift blame on to a mandatory, Federal process of scientific review, the Premier is cynically manipulating West Coast workers under the guise of advocating for them.
"It's politics 101 and persuades no one."