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Thursday 3 November 2022

Slaughter: When Tasmania fails at being clean and green

Tasmania trades heavily on its clean and green image. 

Except when the pursuit of cash gets in the way. 

Then the state government tends to do the bidding of its major sponsors, who include the forestry industry (with a tendency to chop down old-growth trees) and the toxic fish farming business, which pollutes local waters.   

Now Tasmania's green credentials have come under more fire after a permit to kill up to 200 black swans in Tasmania's Central Highlands was approved. 

It was decided that the birds - which are native to Australia - damage the environment for trout - an introduced species. 

Environmentalist Bob Brown said the decision was "appalling" and had the potential to damage Tasmania's image, while Tasmanian Greens MP Rosalie Woodruff said the cull was "beyond belief". 

The approval was issued by the state's Department of Natural Resources and Environment - and around 70 birds have already been slaughtered in the region known as London Lakes. 

Brown predicted: "There's going to be popular revolution at the thought of breeding swans and their cygnets being killed because they are disturbing an introduced species."

Trout were first introduced to Tasmania from England in 1864, with the state now known around the world as a premier destination for anglers - hence the cash issue coming into play.

Dr Eric Woehler from BirdLife Tasmania said the cull at London Lakes was another example of the state government prioritising an introduced species.

"Another permit to cull black swans is just a sad indictment of the fact that we just don't value our wildlife," he told the ABC. "It shows a complete lack of respect for our native wildlife. It is just unacceptable."

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