Killora community wants Tassal  fish farm sites returned to the people as marine reserves

Tassal's Aqua Spa
Tassal's Aqua Spa

Angry Killora residents have called on Minister Palmer to cancel Tassal fish farming licences due for renewal on 30 November and turn the area into a marine reserve.

"We wrote to the Minister asking her to cancel the licences for fish farming at Tassal's Sheppards and Simmonds leases in the North Bruny Channel and have been met with a wall of silence" said Gerard Castles, President of the Killora Community Association.

Mr. Castles said the community had had enough after twenty plus years of trying to work with Tassal, regulators and the Government to clean up fish farming in the Channel.

"Enough is enough", Mr Castles said. "Tassal is part of a multinational running an industrial feed lot site in a quiet rural area. They treat the community like mugs. We've made hundreds of complaints about noise, environmental pollution and community intimidation.
We've revealed the dumping of 600kg of antibiotics into the water last summer to treat diseased fish and industrial accidents the company has hidden from the community".
"The sites dump untreated nutrients straight into the north D'Entrecasteaux Channel causing untold environmental damage. It's like a town of 55,000 people dumping untreated sewerage straight into the Channel." Mr Castles said.
Mr Castles went on to say, "As if that wasn't enough, they pay bugger all for the site, they don't pay rates and pay around $20,000 in licence fees for the leases even though they use them to grow tens of millions of dollars worth of fish."

Mr Castles said there is only one solution, "We call on the Minister to force the industry out of shallow leases and move to land based now. Minister Palmer should force Tassal to rehabilitate their leases and return them to the people to be managed as marine reserves in perpetuity."

This is an industry that is destined for collapse and when it does the Minister, Government and regulators will have to explain to the workers and communities why they allowed themselves to be played for fools by a rogue industry.

Tasmanian Times, 30 November 2023