Wednesday, 19 June 2013
Braddon Electorate: Aquaculture
A fish frenzy was recently reported on the front page of my local newspaper, The Advocate. It is celebrating a $60 million project on the west coast of Tasmania at Strahan in Macquarie Harbour. It is an aquaculture hub for salmon growing. Three salmon-growing companies in Tasmania have collaborated to create this hub on the west coast which will grow salmon. I understand the waters of Macquarie Harbour off Smith Cove are the best waters in the world—the best of the best in the world—for growing salmon. So that is good news for all of you who love salmon—and I know when Dick Adams brings his salmon to parliament for everyone to enjoy, there is a fish frenzy. The federal government, in round 4 of funding under the Regional Development Australia Fund, have committed $7.14 million to this project.
Along with the mayor of the west coast, Darryl Gerrity, I met with the proponents the other day to announce the funding. It will support 100 construction jobs and 160 more jobs in a whole range of occupations associated with aquaculture—jobs in logistics for transport, in the technologies used for netting and for the people doing the feeding, for example. The project itself is part and parcel of a diversification of the economy—part of seeking to keep the west coast sustainable into the future. The west coast has always had a reputation for mining—and mining is very important to that economy and to that community—but allied to that is tourism. Only recently I announced $6 million from the federal government to support the continuation of the Abt Railway, one of the most novel railway systems in the world, on the west coast to support tourism. Recently Minister Burke rejected listing the Tarkine under National Heritage. Now we can add to that funding for a potential fish frenzy.
This industry, worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Tasmania, is potentially a billion dollar industry for our economy. I congratulate Tassal, I congratulate Petuna Seafoods and Huon Aquaculture, along with the Tasmanian Salmonid Growers Association, the federal government, and the west coast on what is a fantastic collaborative project.