The push by Tasmanian Cabinet Minister Cassy O'Connor to classify the entirety of Tasmania's state waters a whale sanctuary is sending negative messages to prospective investors in the State, Tasmanian Liberal Senator Richard Colbeck said.
"Ms O'Connor attempts to compare her proposal to declare all Tasmanian waters a whale sanctuary with a marine park declaration by the West Australian Government last week which included two sanctuary zones and a whale conservation special purpose zone," Senator Colbeck said.
"The difference between Ms O'Connor's lock-it-all-up proposal and the West Australian approach could not be more stark.
"Sanctuary zones exclude all recreational and commercial fishing, including aquaculture, and any oil or gas exploration and extraction.
"Ms O'Connor tries to make her proposal sound benign and feel-good but the reality is it would wipe out our wild catch fishing industry, close down our world-renowned aquaculture industry of salmon, trout, oysters, mussels and abalone, and even prevent families from enjoying recreational fishing.
"Not to mention the impacts on other sectors including commercial shipping.
"Ms O'Connor's suggestion that her proposal would cost nothing is laughable.
"Tasmanian fisheries alone have a gross production value in excess of $560 million a year.
"There is little wonder prospective investors are confused about doing business in Tasmania. Investors understand the implications, even if the Premier does not," Senator Colbeck said.