The Esperance region stands to benefit from a $1.66 million project to develop an ‘investment ready’ aquaculture zone in waters on Western Australia’s south coast.
Supported by Royalties for Regions, the project will investigate suitable sites for ‘grow-out’ of target species, determine the required infrastructure and ensure environmental approval processes are managed.
Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region Dave Grills MLC said the south coast aquaculture development zone encompassing the South-West, Great Southern and Goldfields-Esperance regions would support large-scale development of the local aquaculture industry.
“There is significant potential for the further development of aquaculture along WA’s south coast but the cost and time involved in bringing individual projects to developmental approval stage has historically served as an impediment to growth,” Mr Grills said.
“This initiative, made by possible by $1.3 million in Royalties for Regions funding, is designed to remove investor uncertainty and decrease start-up time and financial outlay by developing strategic assessments at a zone level.”
Nationals WA Candidate for Roe Peter Rundle said aquaculture could serve as an important economic driver and provide growth and job opportunities for south coast communities such as Esperance.
“The expansion of aquaculture aligns with the economic priorities set out in a number of Royalties for Regions-supported planning documents, such as the Goldfields-Esperance Regional Investment Blueprint and the Esperance Region Economic Development Strategy,” Mr Rundle said.
“The creation of an aquaculture development zone will reduce red tape and facilitate greater investment in multiple areas near regional centres, producing native shellfish and finfish species.”
The three-year project will be undertaken in stages in consultation with stakeholders such as aquaculture producers, representative organisations, investors and local communities.
Royalties for Regions has invested $1.3 million over four years towards the aquaculture project, while the WA Department of Fisheries has committed $360,000.
For media enquiries contact Dave Grills MLC on (08) 9071 500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org