Tasmania could overhaul its salmon farming regulation "without the need" for another review or inquiry, the state's environmental law centre says.
In its submission to the draft Environmental Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill, Environmental Defenders Office Tasmania has called for the industry to be regulated the same as any other in the state.
The submission calls for laws to ensure biomass and dissolved nitrogen caps are imposed on fish farm approvals, along with a guarantee of public participation in the process, and follows the launch of a Legislative Council inquiry into the industry last week.
In a statement, EDO Tasmania's chief executive and principal lawyer Nicole Sommer said the decoupling of environmental licences from the standard industrial activity approval process had created "unnecessary complexity" within regulation.
IN OTHER NEWS
She said this was evident in recent Storm Bay operation approvals and was concerned that in the absence of those controls existing laws would allow substantial intensification with no assessment.
"The changes we recommend can be made now, without the need for another review or inquiry," Ms Sommer said.
"[The Bill] says that it aims to 'improve' environmental regulation in Tasmania, and yet, the draft bill doesn't come close to fixing the existing problems with fin fish farming regulation."
A state government spokesperson said the issues raised would be considered as part of the submission process. The Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association and major companies were contacted for comment.
After a Senate inquiry in 2015 gave broad support to the state government's oversight of the sector - and drew dueling claims of politicisation - salmon companies have questioned the need for another in the state's upper house, but say they will co-operate fully.
The new inquiry will focus on data collection and biosecurity progress in the roll-out of the industry's sustainable growth plan.
Further scrutiny will be applied to marine farming development approvals, lease allocations, and prevention of environmental harm.
The four-week submission window for the draft bill closed on October 4.
While you're with us, you can now sign up to receive breaking news updates and daily headlines direct to your inbox. Sign up here.