Following an article in The Australian newspaper today the Greens Marine Tasmania spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson questioned the Coalition's commitment to allowing the expert panel - set up to provide advice on the scientific uncertainty of a super trawler's impact on fish stocks - to finish its work.
Senator Whish-Wilson also asked what action the new Government would take if a Federal Court judgement declared the current 2 year Super Trawler ban invalid.
"I welcome Senator Colbeck's media statements in recent days that the new Government will respect the process that was put in place last year for an expert panel to conduct its scientific work; but this seems at odds with his earlier statements on the subject," Senator Whish-Wilson said.
"I do note media statements from earlier in the year quoted Senator Colbeck as stating that the "science I've seen overwhelmingly supports utilisation of the vessel."
"Senator Colbeck has always been in favour of bringing a Super Trawler to the small pelagic fishery in Australia, and I would ask that the Parliamentary Secretary reserve his judgement until the expert panel conducts its research whilst the ban remains in place.
"The Coalition has also not clarified what action they will take if an imminent Federal Court decision in a case brought by Seafish Tasmania to overturn the two year ban is successful.
"If the new Government's commitment to the expert panel process is genuine, the Greens are happy to work with them to ensure the ban remains in place and the expert panel can finish their work," Senator Whish-Wilson concluded.