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Standing Committee on Aquaculture and Water Resources Inquiry into the Australian aquaculture sector

May 2021

The Tasmanian Independent Science Council argues that the current regulatory framework governing the salmon farming industry in lutruwita/Tasmania falls short of global best practice, and must be fixed before expansion can be contemplated. It recommends marine spatial planning and the principle of ecosystem-based management within a transparent decision support system is needed in order to regulate coastal aquaculture. Alongside this, there must be a truly independent regulator with transparent processes must be established in order to create a sustainable industry and restore social license. Further, comprehensive environmental monitoring, that delivers to clear environmental quality objectives and incontestable biosecurity standards must be enacted in government policy for coastal aquaculture. 

11th August 2020

State of the Environment Reports have repeatedly found that during the life of the EPBC Act the health of the Australian environment and its biodiversity has continued to decline. The Tasmanian Independent Science Council recommends strengthening key aspects of the Act and supports several recommendations from the previous EPBC Act Review (the Hawke Review in 2009) and other expert bodies, yet to be implemented. For more information about the EPBC Act Review visit: https://epbcactreview.environment.gov.au 

 

 

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 Indendent Review 2020

Proposed Major Projects legislation in lutruwita/Tasmania

May 2020

The Tasmanian Independent Science Council considers the draft legislation is both unnecessary and problematic in its design. While the Council appreciates the importance of efficient and economical procedures for making decisions on environmental issues in order to minimise delays and costs to stakeholders, this consideration is weighed against the vital importance of maintaining the integrity and robustness of Tasmania’s Resource Management and Planning System. Furthermore, we must be mindful to protect Tasmania’s growing reputation nationally and globally as a relatively unspoilt natural environment that attracts many visitors and underpins a significant part of the state economy and enriches the well-being of many residents. More information about the draft Major Projects legislation is available here: https://planningreform.tas.gov.au/major-projects-assessment

 

 

Rural Water Use Strategy for lutruwita/Tasmania

October 2020

The strategy is heavily focussed on irrigation expansion, with some reference to other water dependent uses such as the Hydro’s Battery of the Nation and renewable hydrogen. Although the focus is on rural water, it is essential that the needs of other water users are also integrated with this strategy. In addition to the environment, these include drinking water, aquaculture and other water intensive industries, forestry and firefighting. Significant expansion of irrigation schemes has the potential to jeopardise these other uses, or to be adversely impacted by them. More information about the Rural Water Use Strategy is available here: https://dpipwe.tas.gov.au/water/rural-water-use-strategy

 

 

November 2021

The Science Council and Climate Tasmania reccomend that a Tasmanian Climate Change Act that drives rapid action on emissions reduction and demonstrates leadership on climate action should include: increased ambition; sectoral (e.g. transport, agriculture) and fuel specific (e.g. oil products, gas, coal) interim targets with dates; explicit targets and mechanisms for phasing out use of fossil fuels; provision and funding for an independent body to provide ongoing specialist advice to the Tasmanian government, Parliament, and the community; establishment of a capability within lutruwita/Tasmania to collect, report and make public information on emissions sources by both fuel type and sector; explicit mechanisms to ensure public participation and parliamentary oversight in the development of climate actions; a requirement to produce five-yearly state-wide climate risk assessments.

Climate Change (State Action) Amendment Bill 2021

SUBMISSIONSThe Tasmanian Independent Science Council seeks to elevate the role of science in policy on Tasmania's environment through making submissions to legislative reviews.

 

Scoping Paper for the draft Tasmanian Planning Policies

October 2021

The Science Council reccomends the development of State Policies, established by the Tasmanian Parliament, as these provide for a whole of Government approach and are more transparent. However, more narrowly focused TPPs are a step in the right direction and will influence the future of lutruwita/Tasmania as they help to shape the planning system and react to emerging issues. The Science Council further recommends some additional topics and issues the TPPs could cover. We consider the best approach to addressing climate change would be to adopt a State Policy on Climate Change to help to implement the Climate Change Act, as well as integration across all relevant TPPs.

Blue Economy CRC: Proposed area for trialling aquaculture in Commonwealth water

February 2022

TISC reccomends that, before the trial commences, that a number of questions are answered regarding the scientific basis for the trial and its likely impacts. Further, we reccomend that a staged process is clearly articulated that ensures regular updates and consultation are completed prior to commencing the next stage. A clear break is also needed between experimental and commercial operations.

 

Discussion Paper on the Review of the Living Marine Resources Management Act 

April 2022

TISC recommends that:

  • The Act be amended to ensure that sustainability of living marine resources and the precautionary principle are prioritised;
  • An assessment be independently undertaken to evaluate the sustainability management practices of other Australian and international jurisdictions to determine how lutruwita/Tasmania can improve its marine management;
  • The Act be amended to ensure that corporations who do not focus on marine sustainability face consequences;
  • The Act be amended to require management plans for risks to the marine environment and industries;
  • Permit periods be shortened;
  • Automatic triggers for rapid response in instances of default or breach are built into the legislation;
  • Two independent bodies: the Sustainability Committee and the industry levy-funded Sustainability Research Fund are established; and
  • Independent reviews of the Sustainability Strategy and the Act be undertaken at regular intervals specified in the Act.

May 2022

TISC provided early feedback on the Tasmanian Government's 10 Year Salmon Plan. We make a number of recommendations on scientific and economic grounds. 

10 Year Salmon Plan 

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