TWO Rocks could be home to a new aquaculture hatchery on government-owned land with access to the marina, high quality sea water and freight links if the Liberal Party is successful at the March 11 election.
On Wednesday, March 1 Premier Colin Barnett said if re-elected a Liberal Government would build a $15 million world class research and development facility at Two Rocks to support the growth of Western Australia’s aquaculture industry.
Mr Barnett announced the commitment at the Australian Centre for Applied Aquaculture Research centre at the TAFE maritime campus in Fremantle.
He said the Fremantle site was outdated and no longer fit for purpose with the lease on the buildings due to expire on June 30, 2018.
“Production of juvenile fish is severely limited at the current facility, with required production predicted to almost double from 2.9 million fingerlings to 5.1 million by 2022,” he said.
“The new aquaculture hatchery is planned for Government-owned land at Two Rocks – an ideal location with access to the marina, high quality sea water and freight links.”
He said training in aquaculture and related courses would continue at the North Regional TAFE, Central Regional TAFE, and South Metropolitan TAFE.
Deputy Premier and Training Minister Liza Harvey said the new facility would ensure the industry was supported by the latest technology and contemporary aquaculture practices.
“Production from the Two Rocks centre would include barramundi for the Kimberley, mulloway and yellowtail kingfish for the Mid-west, and bream, snapper and Swan River prawns for recreational restocking programs,” she said.
“It will support job opportunities in the aquaculture development zones, established by the Liberal-led government in the Kimberley and Mid-West, and also provide a high level of biosecurity for marine fish health in the hatchery and nursery environment.”
Meanwhile, on Saturday, March 4 WA Labor said it would support the growth of agriculture and aquaculture industries to create new jobs and establish a state aquaculture working group, involving key government and industry leaders to review the industry and develop a long term strategy, including identifying future locations for aquaculture development.
Opposition Leader Mark McGowan also said the party would commission a thorough review of the roles and responsibilities of the Department of Agriculture and Food and investigate how its structure could best adapt to benefit the sector.