30 October, 2020
LNP's plan to double NQ aquaculture
LIBERAL-NATIONAL Leader Deb Frecklington has vowed to supercharge North Queensland's aquaculture industry in partnership with James Cook University if her party is elected to government come October 31.
Ms Frecklington said an LNP Government would contribute $67 million to the Tropical Aquaculture Accelerator, with JCU investing a further $630 million over the next thirty years, and the industry $42 million.
“Aquaculture should be a boom industry in North Queensland, but it’s actually shrunk under the Palaszczuk Labor Government,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The LNP’s plan will revolutionise aquaculture in our state and more than double production.
“The Tropical Aquaculture Accelerator will create more than 11,200 new jobs – that’s a decade of secure jobs for North and Far North Queensland,” Ms Frecklington said.
The program will bring together JCU scientists with the private sector to drive innovation, research and commercialisation in the production of farmed barramundi, prawns, crayfish and other seafood. Once operational, the Accelerator is forecast to generate more than $2.6 billion in gross product by 2031.
JCU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sandra Harding, said the project was critically important to the future growth of northern Queensland’s aquaculture industry.
“This commitment means we can develop aquaculture as an industry in northern Queensland as previous generations did with beef,” Ms Harding said.
“By working with industry and investing in research, training and infrastructure, we can support its rapid and sustainable growth.”
Ms Frecklington was joined at this week’s announcement in Townsville by local LNP candidates John Hathaway (Townsville), Natalie Marr (Thuringowa), Glen Doyle (Mundingberra) and Scott Piper (Hinchinbrook).
“This Australian-first facility will provide tanks, laboratories, training and support for innovation that will unleash the potential of Townsville’s aquaculture industry,” Mr Hathaway said. “More than 1,500 JCU students will be part of the Accelerator in its first five years, so this will be a tremendous opportunity for young people.”
“Aquaculture grew by 36 per cent under the previous LNP Government,” Ms Frecklington said. “And this plan will give Queensland the chance to become an industry world leader and beater.”
Queensland is currently Australia’s third-largest aquaculture producer, behind South Australia and Tasmania.