As part of its Royalties for Regions program, the Liberal National Government will invest $1.66 million to promote growth of aquaculture industry and develop the ‘investment ready’ aquaculture zone on Western Australia’s south coast.
“Aquaculture is the fastest growing primary industry in Australia, however growth rates in WA are constrained because of the cost and time involved in bringing individual aquaculture projects to developmental approval stage,” said Regional Development Minister Terry Redman.
“Investing in developing strategic assessments at a zone level removes the uncertainty felt by potential developers and investors and reduces start-up time and financial outlay.”
The project will focus on investigating suitable sites for ‘grow-out’ of target species and will be undertaken in stages.
It will run for three years and will be conducted in consultation with stakeholders such as aquaculture producers, representative organisations, investors and local communities.
“Aquaculture development zones slash approval time from several years to several months, cutting costs and red tape and providing investment-ready areas for large-scale projects,” said Fisheries Minister Joe Francis.
“The area being considered for the proposed south coast zone encompasses the South-West, Great Southern and Goldfields-Esperance regions, and is expected to comprise multiple areas near regional centres, producing native shellfish and finfish species.”