Barramundi Hazelwood Pondage Fishing | October 04, 2017
Cost of failed barramundi foray revealed
The Andrews Labor Government has spent $57,000 clearing dead barramundi from the Hazelwood pondage, barely 12 months after they were initially stocked.
Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford has confirmed that $52,000 (excl GST) was spent removing barramundi and tilapia from the pondage between March and September this year.
Barramundi were released into the pondage in April 2016 and Ms Pulford said at the time it was a “key milestone”.
Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath said taxpayers had now been forced to pick up the bill for Labor’s failed fishing foray, with the fish no longer able to survive in the cooled waters of the pondage after the closure of the Hazelwood power station.
“The Andrews Labor Government spent $150,000 stocking the Hazelwood pondage, but after failing to stop the early closure of the Hazelwood power station, taxpayers are forced to pick up the bill to remove dead fish from the cooled waters as well,” Ms Bath said.
“Hazelwood’s closure saw the loss of 750 direct jobs from our community, put hundreds of jobs down the chain at risk and left Victoria without 22 per cent of its baseload power supply.”
“The press release and reality are always worlds apart when it comes to the promises of Daniel Andrews’ Melbourne-centric Labor Government.”
The details of the costings were made public in response to a question Ms Bath asked the Agriculture Minister in State Parliament.
“How many dead and dying barramundi have been removed from the chilled waters of the Hazelwood Pondage as a result of the Hazelwood power station closure, and what has been the cost?” Ms Bath asked in parliament.
In response, Ms Pulford would only say there were “a number of fish that have not fared well”.
A later written response confirmed at least $57,000 was paid to an external contractor to remove the dead fish from the pond as well as the “transport of fish and the holding of fish in frozen storage”.