RURAL & AGRIBUSINESS

QLD earmarks future aquaculture sites

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TWO new sites in Queensland have been identified as land-based marine aquaculture development areas (ADAs), leaving new space for the industry to grow.

“My vision is to make Queensland the aquaculture capital of the world,” said Mark Furner, minister for agricultural industry development and fisheries and minister for rural communities.

The two new sites comprise 1,974-hectares for future aquaculture development in the Hinchinbrook Shire.

“The latest figures show aquaculture in Queensland is booming with the value of production at a new record high and an increase in full-time equivalent jobs,” said Furner.

An 80-hectare Ausgold Aquaculture property, one of the only licensed freshwater aquaculture properties in North Queensland recently entered the market, with the expectation of  offers in excess of $4 million.

“The identification of ADAs aims to promote and advance the expansion of aquaculture in Queensland which will create more employment opportunities especially in regional areas.”

The two new ADAs bring Queensland’s total identified sites for this industry to eight across 9,000-hectares.

“A 498 hectare site at Macknade was selected as an expansion opportunity for an existing aquaculture farm but does not preclude new development,” said Furner.

The sites were brought to the state government’s attention after a proposal from the Hinchinbrook Shire Council that was made in consultation with stakeholders, including land owners.

“The Halifax/Braemeadows ADA site comprises 1,476 hectares and is suitable for new aquaculture development due to its proximity to seawater sources and location on the fringe of existing agricultural land,” concluded Furner.

When Aquaculture Development Areas are reconised under the State Planning Policy, local governments are provided  with a formal mechanism to implement ADAs through their planning schemes.

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