Prawn farm expansion brings jobs, jobs, jobs to North Queensland

A major new aquaculture development will supercharge the local economy and deliver up to 1,000 jobs to the Mackay and the Whitsundays region.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner visited Tassal’s prawn farm near Proserpine today to view its plans for expansion in the region.

“In addition to this site, Tassal has this week purchased a 7,000 hectare beef property just north of Mackay with a view to turning it into a major aquaculture facility,” Mr Furner said.

“This development from Australia’s leading seafood producer shows the Palaszczuk government’s commitment to creating jobs across Queensland.

“1,000 people in the Mackay and Whitsundays will be employed during the construction and operational stages, which is great news for the local economy and for Queensland.

“The company plans to immediately spend $85 million to continue developing the next two stages at Proserpine and then build on this new property.

“We do the hard yards with companies like Tassal to make these investments possible and get on the front foot to facilitate strong, sustainable industries that mean jobs for Queenslanders.”

Tassal’s development is in one of six aquaculture development areas (ADAs) that the Palaszczuk government designated and announced in January this year to promote and encourage this kind of job-creating investment.

Assistant Minister for State Development and Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said it has also been given Prescribed Project Status.

“This enables Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General to assist Tassal to progress the project, including ensuring timely approvals across governments,” she said.

“It enables the Coordinator-General, if necessary, to intervene in the approvals process in a number of ways to ensure timely decision-making for the prescribed project.

“This will be a jobs bonanza for the region and It’ll be fantastic to see these new jobs being advertised and major investment flowing into our beautiful region.

Tassal’s Head of Supply Chain and Commercial Services Ben Daley said the company is committed to boosting Queensland’s aquaculture industry, creating jobs, regional growth and stronger local economies.

“Our expansion at Proserpine and acquisition of Exmoor Station is a cornerstone to achieving Tassal’s ambition of 20,000 tonnes of prawn production each year and will cement Northern Queensland as an Australian sustainable prawn aquaculture hub,” Mr Daley said.

“The demand for sustainable seafood and aquaculture continues to grow in Australia and internationally and is a proud industry that can be further developed in Northern Queensland.”

Minister Furner said Tassal’s investment was also great news for Queensland’s growing aquaculture sector.

“My vision is to make Queensland the aquaculture capital of the world,” he said.

“Well over half of the seafood consumed in Queensland is imported.

“The growing demand for great Queensland seafood means there is more than enough room for a strong, sustainable commercial fishing industry and a strong, growing and sustainable aquaculture industry in our state.”

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