The Limestone Coast rock lobster industry is set to increase by $1.5 million annually, when cray fish exports to China are restored, with the establishment of a processing facility in Beachport.
The 25 local fishing families who have joined together to form the Limestone Coast Fishermen’s Co-operative (LCFC) will receive $348,000 from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF) to develop the new facility this year, that will see holding capacity of live rock lobster increase by around 10 tonnes across both their Limestone Coast processing locations.
Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone said the funding will directly benefit the Limestone Coast, creating local jobs and a stronger, more resilient region.
“The LCFC is locally owned and operated by family fishing businesses in the Limestone Coast and this grant will inject new economic activity into the region, directly benefiting those local businesses involved, as well as the coastal towns and communities in which they operate,” said Minister Whetstone.
“Southern Rock Lobster is South Australia’s largest wild catch fishery by value, producing 1539 tonnes valued at $136 million.
“With increased live lobster holding capacity, LCFC can process larger volumes of live Southern Rock Lobster and, coupled with best practice management arrangements, secure the product’s premium market position by continuing to provide the best quality Southern Rock Lobster to international markets.”
The funding will support the establishment of the LCFC Beachport live holding facility providing a total capacity of eight to ten tonnes, together with facilitating the installation of a substantial solar power system at the LCFC’s existing facility in Port MacDonnell to offset energy consumption.
LCFC Chairman and Member Rodger Long said the grant funding would help the business realise growth opportunities sooner.
“The ongoing efficiencies gained by our Co-op as a result of the RGF funding will ensure increased economic returns for the Limestone Coast region,” said Mr Long.
“The LCFC’s core driver is to secure a viable future for fishermen and their families, as well as the coastal towns and communities across the Limestone Coast.”
This funding has been allocated as part of the strategic $10 million of the RGF for 2019-20. The RGF was established to unlock new economic activity in our regions and strengthen regional communities by delivering critical economic infrastructure to create direct benefit across regional industries.
The Marshall Liberal Government has committed $150 million over 10 years through the RGF to support regional South Australia as part of the Recharging our Regions policy.
For more information, visit www.pir.sa.gov.au/regionalgrowthfund