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Independent Member for Clark, Andrew Wilkie, will join a community coalition to call on the Premier to be upfront with voters on plans to expand fish farming in Tasmania.

“While aquaculture is undeniably an important industry, its environmental impact cannot be ignored,” Mr Wilkie said. “The extent of damage to some of the state’s most precious places, like Bruny Island, is laid bare in the latest book by eminent Tasmanian author Richard Flanagan. It makes for disturbing reading.

“The unrestrained expansion of the industry, which is due to double by 2030, is environmental vandalism. We only need to revisit the catastrophe that occurred in Macquarie Harbour for hard evidence of what can happen when things go seriously awry.

“We need an immediate pause on establishing new farms and a path out of inshore into deep waters, and eventually onshore closed loop. There also needs to be better Government oversight as the industry is acting with impunity.

“Putting aquaculture on a genuinely sustainable footing is the best way to protect the industry, along with the jobs and economic benefit it provides to the state.”