- Geraldton-based finfish nursery project brought forward to boost economic recovery
- Tasmanian fish farmer, Huon Aquaculture signals readiness for move to WA
- At full capacity, the Midwest Aquaculture Zone could support hundreds of local jobs
The McGowan Government has fast-tracked plans for a Geraldton-based finfish nursery as part of its push to expedite investment in the Midwest Aquaculture Zone to create significant regional employment opportunities.
Accelerating processes for the design, fit-out and construction of the state-of-the-art Geraldton Marine Finfish Nursery will facilitate the supply of juvenile yellowtail kingfish to commercial aquaculture companies, a pre-requisite for commercial scale farming.
The nursery's ability to provide seed stocks for grow-out in the sea cages of new and existing operations is central to the creation of new jobs and the growth of the local economy.
Estimates indicate hundreds of direct jobs when the nursery is operating at full capacity, including both direct and indirect job opportunities for local businesses supplying raw materials, goods, services, trades, transport and, eventually, tourism.
The McGowan Government has already approved $7 million for the construction and operation of the nursery and the Midwest Aquaculture Development Zone, and is prepared for new operations that are expected to significantly expand the region's economic opportunities.
Accelerating the process, which is expected to create 20 immediate construction jobs at the nursery site, will shave months off the previous schedule. It is now estimated that nursery operations could start as early as September 2021.
The fast-tracking of project delivery is expected to foster a new level of confidence for ongoing investment in Western Australian aquaculture.
Comments attributed to Fisheries Minister Peter Tinley:
"Accelerating completion of the Marine Finfish Nursery at Geraldton is another economic stimulus designed to create jobs and aid WA's recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Fast-tracking this state-of-the-art development will bring forward construction and that is what WA needs right now to help boost economic recovery.
"With a major company like Huon Aquaculture already on board to developing its business in the Mid-West, there's a real opportunity to take WA's aquaculture sector to a new level.
"The nursery offers a fantastic opportunity for business investment in the Midwest Zone to develop and grow both existing and new markets through the supply of high-quality, sustainable seafood."
Comments attributed to Huon Aquaculture CEO Peter Bender:
"Huon Aquaculture's record in delivering local jobs in the regional communities where we farm is well documented.
"We are excited at the opportunity to expand our operations into the Mid-West and the Yellowtail Kingfish (Hiramasa) sashimi market, and welcome the WA Government's push to prioritise development of the Geraldton finfish nursery.
"An operating finfish nursery is a crucial component of our move to WA."
Minister's office - 6552 5300