Last week, Bob Brown Foundation Marine Campaigner, Alistair Allan, took a boat onto Macquarie Harbour to monitor salmon farms and the dire situation of the Maugean Skate.
The monitoring trips were to see the salmon farms up close, understand the volume of fish farms in the harbour and send a message to Federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek, demanding that she keep her promise of no new extinctions.
It was also to understand the viability of conducting citizen science surveys to monitor the dissolved oxygen in the harbour as summer approaches.
Mr Allan did this even though it meant defying an excessive move-on order issued to him by Tasmania Police when he was sighted towing a boat through the town of Tullah, some 84kms from Macquarie Harbour on Wednesday 15 November.
The move-on stated that Mr Allan was not to be found in a huge area encompassing Queenstown, Strahan and Zeehan for 7 days, including Macquarie Harbour.
“I returned to Macquarie Harbour today because I believe every citizen has the right to be on Tasmania’s public waterways and to check on the health of our rivers, harbours and oceans.”
“I also believe that every citizen has a right to peacefully protest, a view also shared by the High Court of Australia, especially when our wild places are being threatened.”
“I have been excluded from even entering an entire region before I had so much as set foot on the boat ramp in Strahan. This is the Tasmanian police acting as security guards for Salmon Tasmania and the giant multinational companies that it comprises.”
“It would appear that Salmon Tasmania and the Rockliff government know that the situation is so bad in Macquarie Harbour that they won’t allow any public scrutiny on the water.”
“The Maugean Skate is on the brink of extinction and, rather than trying to save the species, the Tasmanian Government prefers to ensure that no one can even think about going out on Macquarie Harbour to see their inaction for themselves.”