Last week we were pleased to host Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner, for the announcement of a significant investment by the Palaszczuk Government – an additional $7.5 million into Queensland’s aquaculture industry.
We are delighted to see this funding come to our aquaculture industry in Queensland. The funding will include $3.8 million for research, development and extension activities, $1.5 million for industry development, a $1.1 million program to improve regulation and technical guidance, and $1 million to establish an aquaculture incubator.
The government’s support bolsters our and other Queensland aquaculture businesses’ investments in a sustainable future for aquaculture in this region.
This kind of support elevates the entire industry, Ornatas CEO Scott Parkinson said “Ornatas has itself invested over $30 million dollars in regional Queensland recognising the proactive Department of Agriculture and Fisheries and the Palaszczuk Government’s ambitions to significantly grow aquaculture in the state.”
Minister Furner said “We want Queensland to be the aquaculture capital of the world, and our investment will help us to further partner with industry and grow the already world-class reputation of Queensland seafood.”
During the visit last week, Ornatas Hatchery and Research & Development Manager Jennifer Blair showed the Minister our progress on a tour through our expanding commercial lobster hatchery, including the newly commissioned lobster nursery with the capacity to produce 100,000 lobsters for our grow out operation.
Jen explained “Only 4 years into our journey we have a highly skilled and diverse team of 30 people working at Ornatas. It was International Women’s Day yesterday (8th March), and we are very proud that 50% of our staff are women, operating in a range of different areas of the business.”
The next 18 months sees the expansion of our pilot grow out facilities to a commercial farming scale, ready to sell into Asian markets with ever growing demand for premium seafood from sustainable sources. Scott said “This support for the aquaculture industry from the government, strong industry and research partnerships, and our skilled team makes us confident we will achieve our goal of building a whole new industry for Australia in lobster aquaculture, starting right here in Queensland.”
Watch the story on 7 News (Facebook): Multi-million dollar state government investment pushes North Queensland to the forefront of the aquaculture industry