Government to stand up to multinational takeover?


TAMP and NOFF today called on Tasmanian Premier Gutwein to reassure Tasmanians after plans to sell salmon producer Huon Aquaculture to a Brazilian multinational with a reputation for corruption were revealed at night on Friday.

The multinational JBS has a shocking track record of corrupt practices, tax evasion and accusations of circumventing environmental regulations in the Amazon rainforest. In Tasmania, JBS already has a reputation for taking subsidies in the meat industry from government with one hand, while closing meat works and sacking workers with the other. Its track record overseas is even more shocking, including a $US280 million dollar fine for bribery in the United States, tax evasion charges and circumventing environmental laws in the Amazon rainforests to "greenwash" cattle grown in illegal clearings.

Mr Gutwein needs to reassure Tasmanians that regulations, enforcement and penalties will all be reviewed and tightened immediately while the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) will be given all the resources to police what is already a rogue industry. Huon Aquaculture's major shareholders, Peter and Frances Bender, have always claimed they put Tasmania and its workers ahead of all else, and now should explain why they're abandoning them to a rapacious multinational that cares not a jot for the state, for its workers or for its environment.

Until the industry gets out of the water and on to land – as is happening with increasing speed everywhere but in Australia – TAMP and its many affiliates will continue to call out the industry, government and regulators.