Legal call to justify fish farm approval
THE Bob Brown Foundation and two East Coast tourism companies are demanding answers from the Federal Environment Minister over the approval of Tassal’s Okehampton Bay salmon farm.
Tassal last month received the final approval it needed to start putting fish in the water for its Okehampton project.
Federal Court action has now been launched by the Bob Brown Foundation, joined by Spring Bay Mill Pty Ltd and Triabunna Investment Pty Ltd, against Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg.
The two tourism companies, owned by Wotif.com founder Graeme Wood, are developing the former Triabunna woodchip mill site, adjacent to Tassal’s proposed shore base.
Dr Brown said the foundation had taken the legal action to seek an order for the minister to provide reasons for his approval and for the decision to be set aside.
He said the foundation had asked the court to hear the matter urgently because work on the farm had started.
“This is just the latest example of the secrecy and indifference to community concern from both Tassal and the minister — is it any wonder this project never secured a social licence,” he said.
A spokesman for Mr Frydenberg said the decision to approve Tassal’s proposal “is supported by independent environmental advice and follows a public consultation period”.
“Tassal, however, will be subject to strict environmental requirements including avoiding significant impacts on nationally listed threatened and migratory species, such as the southern right whale,” he said.
The case has been listed for a hearing in the Federal Court in Hobart on Wednesday.