Aquaculture project expected to create 350 jobs for region
A $100 MILLION project expected to generate an annual 2700 tonnes of North Queensland black tiger prawns is one step closer to eventuating after being granted prescribed project status.
The Guthalungra aquaculture project - 40 km north of Bowen - will be the second North Queensland aquaculture project for Pacific Reef Fisheries, which currently operates a facility at Ayr.
State Development Minister Cameron Dick said the project was expected to generate 130 jobs during its construction phase and 220 jobs once operational.
"Since January 2015, more than 192,000 jobs have been created in Queensland by the Palaszczuk government and we're working hard to increase that number further," he said.
"Prescribed project status will help ensure this aquaculture facility can become a reality sooner.
The farm will use world-first bioremediation technology produced in partnership with James Cook University.
The project will set a global benchmark for aquaculture water remediation using algae to remove nitrogen and phosphorous from waste water.
Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert MP said economic diversification was key to creating more jobs for the region.
"If we want to give our communities more employment opportunities, we've got to get behind projects such as this," Mrs Gilbert said.
"That's what our government is doing. We're making it easier for more jobs to reach our region."
Agricultural industry development and fisheries minister Mark Furner said the project would feed Australia's love of prawns and deliver a huge boost to Queensland's market share.
"Aquaculture is the fastest growing food industry globally, so it's important we're doing everything we can as a government to tap into that potential," Mr Furner said.
Federal Labor candidate for Dawson Belinda Hassan said projects like this held big potential for the region.
"If we can offer locals a wider range of employment options we're going to see our communities become stronger. Tapping into growing industries such as this will help secure a brighter future."
Pacific Reef Fisheries proposes to construct 259 one-hectare aquaculture ponds, 1.5m deep on a total site area of about 768 hectares.
The project is expected to include:
- 11.3 ha seawater storage pond (370 mL storage capacity)
- 47 ha discharge remediation area
- intake and treated discharge water pipelines (about 5.5 km long)
- freshwater storage pond and water reticulation system
- seafood processing facilities
Earthworks on the site are due to begin midyear.