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April 2023

The draft Climate Change Action Plan for Tasmania lacks the ambition, clarity and focus needed to guide real action on climate change. 

December 2023

Tasmania, as with mainland Australia, is in an extinction crisis. Over the next few decades, climate change will compound and exacerbate existing threats to our threatened species, and we will see a rapid increase in species extinctions. Further, there are already species that were once common that are currently experiencing rapidly decreasing populations. Tasmania currently has 700 listed threatened species, but this number is likely to increase substantially in the near future. If the Tasmanian government is serious about protecting threatened species, then we need to see extensive legislation change, substantial investment and action. As such, we think a stronger Vision statement for the strategy is needed, one that commits to strong action, such as that of “No New Extinctions” adopted by the Federal Government. We must prioritise reversing species’ decreases, rather than merely minimising them.

Tasmania's Threatened Species Strategy Review

March 2023

The draft Standards appear to provide less environmental protection and less clarity than the existing Environmental Licence conditions. As such, the TISC does not support their adoption without significant revisions. 

Letter to the Premier: Draft 10-year Salmon Plan

January 2023

TISC wrote directly to the Premier to strongly recommend a moratorium on further salmon growth in Tasmania’s marine and freshwater systems.

Draft Climate Change Action Plan 2023-35

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 early feedback

Aquaculture Standards

June 2022

TISC made submissions on the Tasmanian Government's Draft Aquaculture Standards.

10 Year Salmon Plan Discussion Paper

August 2022

Read TISC's submission on the Government's 10 Year Salmon Plan Discussion Paper. 

Draft Environmental Standards for Marine Finfish Farming

October 2022

TISC's submission urges the Government to remove Native Forest Biomass from the Renewable Energy Target. 

Native Forest Biomass in the Renewable Energy Target

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. 

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 Independent 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

TISC 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

TISC recommends 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. TISC 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

Before the trial commences, TISC recommends 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.

TISC Calls for UNESCO Action on Macquarie Harbour Environmental Crisis

Review of EPBC Decision Marine Farming Expansion, Macquarie Harbour (2012/6406)

February 2024

The operation of intensive salmon aquaculture in Macquarie Harbour since its expansion in 2012 has had severe impacts on Matters of National Environmental Significance that are protected under the EPBC Act. Based on the evidence set out below, we strongly recommend that the 2012 decision to enable the expansion of marine farming in Macquarie Harbour, on the basis that it was Not a Controlled Action if undertaken in a Particular Manner, be revoked and substituted with a new decision. This activity has resulted in significant degradation of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area values and has also been a major factor in the precipitous decline in the population of the now critically endangered Maugean skate.


April 2024

In response to urgent appeals by environmental groups and the Tasmanian Independent Science Council (TISC), UNESCO has contacted the Albanese government to address the severe impacts of salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour that threaten the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area and the endangered Maugean skate. TISC's recent letter to UNESCO underscores the Australian government’s critical failure to conduct thorough environmental assessments and calls for immediate measures to protect the area’s unique ecosystem. Aquaculture licences are currently under review by Minister Tanya Plibersek.

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