Hazelwood Barramundi Fishing | September 14, 2017

Questions asked on Hazelwood barramundi

The Andrews Labor Government has refused to detail the cost of removing dead barramundi from the cooling Hazelwood pondage.

Barramundi were released into the Hazelwood pondage in September 2015, but a significant number – perhaps more than half – have died since the Hazelwood power station closed earlier this year. Responsibility for the clean-up rests with the Victorian Fisheries Authority.

Member for Eastern Victoria Melina Bath pressed Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford in parliament last week for details of the cost of the clean-up, coming just two years after taxpayer funds were spent introducing the fish to the pondage.

“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.

The response from Ms Pulford avoided the gravity of the issue, with the Agriculture Minister responding that “there are a number of fish that have not fared well”.

The closure of the Hazelwood power station earlier this year also meant the end of warm water flowing into the pondage. The temperature of the water has cooled significantly from around 22 degrees to less than 15 – much lower than temperatures the fish are accustomed to.

Ms Bath visited the pondage this week and spoke further about the concerns she had raised in parliament.

“It’s not good enough to say that the fish “haven’t fared well”. This is a serious issue and I am waiting for answers on from the Andrews Labor Government.”

“How many dead and dying fish have been removed? What’s the long-term outlook for the barramundi fishery?”

Ms Bath flagged that the RSPCA may also take interest in the plight of the barramundi – forgotten ‘casualties’ of the Hazelwood closure.

 

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