Tag Archives: marine

Submission to the Australian aquaculture inquiry

Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources
PO Box 6021
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600
e: [email protected]


Dear Committee

RE: Submission to the Australian aquaculture sector inquiry

I write to the Committee as a former Senior Policy Adviser to Ms Rebekha Sharkie MP with carriage of the environment portfolio at the adviser-level for Centre Alliance. This submission is being made wholly in my personal capacity.


Recommendation 1: Pollution from aquaculture urgently needs to be accounted for in the National Pollution Inventory

 Aquaculture has a valuable role to play in Australia’s economy; however, like all private industry, it still needs to operate within a reasonable social licence. The fact that aquaculture has been exempted from providing account to the National Pollution Inventory has no basis in public policy, and a complete basis in politics. This exemption for aquaculture needs to be removed as a matter of priority.

Recommendation 2: Establish a moratorium on aquaculture in Fitzgerald Bay, SA

The Giant Australian Cuttlefish that aggregates in the breeding season in significant numbers at Point Lowly near Whyalla is a major South Australian ecotourism drawcard. Aquaculture used to operate in Fitzgerald Bay (directly to the north of Point Lowly) and created significant nitrogenous pollution, leading to the rapid decline of Cuttlefish population numbers. Since the closure of those aquaculture operations, the Cuttlefish population has experienced recovery.

There are currently plans to restart aquaculture operations in Fitzgerald Bay without regard to the expected significant impact upon the Cuttlefish and destruction of its ecotourism benefits. It may well be possible for aquaculture – properly monitored for nitrogenous (and other) pollution and operating within strict limits – to operate in coexistence with the Cuttlefish.

However, until there is a requirement for such aquaculture pollution to be properly measured (and therefore properly regulated and limits properly enforced), there should be a moratorium on aquaculture in Fitzgerald Bay.

My thanks to the Committee for their consideration of my submission.

Yours sincerely,

Mr Michael Cornish

2 / 7 / 21

Artificial reef election commitment

The Hon Steven Marshall MP
GPO Box 2343
Adelaide SA, 5001

Dear Premier,

RE: Artificial reef election commitment

I write to you as a former senior adviser to Ms Rebekha Sharkie, the Member for Mayo, with a keen interest in environmental conservation. I wish to commend the State Liberal Government on its 2018 election commitment to construct three artificial reefs.

Artificial, and especially oyster reefs, are an excellent economic and environmental intervention. In addition to improved water quality, increased marine biodiversity and the creation of new recreational fishing opportunities, The Nature Conservancy estimates that every million dollars invested in oyster reef restoration creates 8.5 full-time equivalent jobs.

My understanding is that separate to the original pilot oyster reef of Windara near Ardrossan, the three reef projects are the Glenelg reef (construction now complete), a reef near Noarlunga, and the Kangaroo Island reef near American River.

It appears that the Glenelg reef was constructed with State Government funding, but it is unclear what contribution – if any – the State Government is making to fund the second and third reefs alongside the welcome Reef Builder funding announcement from the Federal Government.

May I kindly inquire, will the State Government be making financial contributions to the Noarlunga and Kangaroo Island oyster reef restoration projects? If so, how much over what time frame, and if not, why not?

Although preferably the State Government would contribute an amount that at least matches the Federal Government funding envelope, will the State Government consider contributing at least a nominal amount to the Noarlunga and Kangaroo Island reef projects in order to confirm its bona fides in delivering on its election commitment?

Thank you for your time and consideration of my correspondence.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Cornish

18 / 4 / 2021

Cc Minister for the Environment, the Hon David Speirs MP