The Tasmanian Government has changed the environmental regulatory framework around finfish farming in Tasmania.
All the provisions that were contained in the Finfish Environmental Regulation Bill 2017, including those that were added during the Parliamentary process, have now been incorporated into the Finfish Farming Environmental Regulation Act 2017.
What has been amended?
The Government developed the legislative amendments required to transfer formally the powers for environmental regulation of the industry from the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment to the EPA
. The Finfish Farming Environmental Regulation Bill was introduced to Parliament on 17 August 2017. The provisions commenced on 4 December 2017.
The new arrangements include a new Environmental Licence under Tasmania’s Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994
(EMPCA). This framework provides the Director, EPA with a clear, independent statutory role for managing the ongoing environmental regulation of the State’s finfish farming industry.
Legislative changes also cover the declaration of finfish marine farming exclusion zones. This includes the mechanism for their declaration and revocation, and a prohibition on the preparation of marine farming development plans for finfish farming in areas where there is a finfish marine farming exclusion zone.
In addition, enforcement mechanisms have been strengthened to better reflect the scale of the industry, and fines can now be imposed for environmental pollution that are of a true deterrent value.