Government must take action after fish kill; can’t blame Nature

Greens Member for South Metropolitan Lynn MacLaren MLC says the Government must announce new measures to protect Cockburn Sound’s marine life from devastating fish kills.
Speaking the day before she will attend a public rally in Rockingham which is calling for action on the fish kill, Ms MacLaren said:
“It is not good enough for the Barnett Government to pass the buck onto Nature; I don’t think anyone is convinced by that.
“We all know that when oxygen levels are so low in the Sound that fish are dying and there is an algal bloom it means that the water body in question is sick.
“Where is the Government’s full report on the kill so that we can see what steps government agencies took and what evidence there is to support the government’s conclusion?
“It is apparent that the Cockburn Sound Management Council is no longer able to fulfil its function as a watchdog and management agency for the Sound – we did not hear a peep from them in the weeks following the kill.
“It is also apparent that there is lack of clarity among government agencies about who is monitoring the Sound and who should respond to catastrophic fish kills such as these.
“It has long been understood that the Sound needs protection from multiple human pressures but it seems the Barnett Government has dropped the ball.
“We need better research into the seagrass and other ecology and clear reporting requirements.
“We also need to asses future development proposals from the point of view of their cumulative impact.
“Whereas an Outer Harbour on the already industrialised Kwinana strip, where the seagrass and benthic habitat is already removed makes sense, a proposal for a polluting private canal estate at Mangles Bay, which is an important fish nursery, penguin feeding ground and has some of the Sound’s healthiest seagrass beds, does not.”