27 September 2012

Expansion Exposed at Tas Dairy


Chinese investors will be buying up big in prominent Tasmanian “dairy land” for a $180 million expansion of a Woolnorth property in North-West Tas. While there are concerns about foreign investors taking up Australian opportunities the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers president, Jan Davis said “ Foreign investment is seen by many as Australia selling off the farm, the TFGA does not share that view. Expansion requires funds and these investment opportunities are often not being taken up by Australians.”

While foreign investment may not be seen as a threat to Australian farmers by some, it should be a major concern for all Animal Activists, with VDL, Australia’s largest dairy farm company being the majority shareholder of the Woolnorth property, wanting to add another 29 farms to the
19 000ha grounds, complete with a total of 67 500 dairy cows with the capacity to process up to 40 per cent more milk for Tasmania. The company produced 5.76 million kg of milk solids last year and plans to double milk production. Last month the Tasmanian dairy industry stated they wanted to boost milk production from 350 million litres to 1.15 billion litres. Not only is this a devastating move for the cows concerned, in order to carry out the expansion 7 000ha of native vegetation will be cleared which will have a huge impact on threatened species in the area.

Australian Greens leader, Christine Milne stated “We want to make sure that vertical integration from the farm, to the processor to the Chinese consumer does not constitute ‘out sourcing’ and distort markets for land and dairy products. What is additionally worrying is that the proposed expansion of the VDL company would be dependent on clearing 7 000ha of native vegetation – and stands in direct violation of our clearing laws and federal laws on threatened species, the Tasmanian Devil in particular.”

12 September 2012

Victory! Super Trawler Banned

People power wins

Yesterday it was announced that new laws have been set to ban the Super Trawler fishing in Australian waters for 2 years while an investigation into its real environmental impacts takes place after concerns that their science was out-dated. “If we get this wrong, there’s risks to environment and fishers which I’m not prepared to take.” – Minister for the Environment, Tony Burke.

This is a huge win and it’s all thanks to you! Yet another example of how people power can make a difference in the world.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

4 September 2012

New Support and Name for Super Trawler


It’s official, Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke has given the go ahead for Super Trawler, FV Margiris to fish in Australian waters. To add insult to injury the Trawler is being renamed the Abel Tasman.

Burke announced that the ship will be allowed to trawl for its quota so long as it meets certain conditions, including no dolphins are to be caught in its nets. Australian Marine Conservation Society Spokeswoman, Tooni Mahto said “Until we get a clear understanding of what format this review process will take, we’re unconvinced the conditions go far enough to ensure the full protection for marine wildlife.

Environment Tasmania Spokeswoman, Rebecca Hubbard addressed the issue, stating “Small pelagic fish are an important feed species for seals, dolphins, penguins and game fish and a significant reduction in their numbers caused by localised depletion from super trawlers is still possible.”

“If Minister Tony Burke hasn’t got the spine to stand up for the marine environment, and to take on the Dutch super trawler to stop it from operating in Australian waters, then the parliament must take direct action. The only way to stop this monster trawler from potentially depleting our local fish stocks and threatening marine life such as seals, dolphins and penguins is for the Senate to disallow and suspend the fishing quota when parliament sits next week.” – Green Senator for Tasmania, Peter Whish-Wilson.

New information released this afternoon states that the death of a dolphin will mean bycatch mitigation methods will be reviewed and fishing halted within 50 nautical miles of where the death was recorded. An underwater camera will be monitoring bycatch 24 hrs a day and an observer will be onboard the vessel. The Abel Tasman will also be banned from sea lion hunting grounds. Before fishing commences Seafish Tasmania together with its Dutch Owners must draw up management plans concerning seal, seabirds and net-setting rules.

Wilderness Society campaign manager, Peter Owen stated that these conditions showed Tony Burke had accepted the killing of protected species. “This is extremely disappointing, to be entertaining the deaths of dolphins, sea lions, seabirds and protected wildlife is surely out of step with community expectation in 2012.”

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