West Beach aquatic research centre receives a $16m boost

South Australia’s aquatic research sector will get significant boost with a $16 million upgrade of the South Australian Aquatic Sciences Centre at West Beach – involving up to 100 contractors during the planning, construction and delivery of the project.

The upgrade which is funded in the upcoming State Budget 2020-21 will ensure the research centre remains a world-leading facility able to deliver effective management of South Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture industries.

The works include infrastructure upgrades to the sea water intake pipes, building façade and roof restoration.

These works will complement a 450 square metre vessel and equipment storage shed that PIRSA has already begun constructing on site, funded via its annual capital program budget.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said South Australia has a proud history in aquatic research since the West Beach facility was constructed in 1993.

“We are the seafood capital of Australia and the $16 million West Beach upgrade will ensure the South Australian Aquatic Sciences Centre remains one of the most comprehensive of its kind in the nation,” Minister Basham said.

“This vital work includes upgrading the existing sea water intake pipes and associated infrastructure serving the facility which will involve up to 100 contractors during the planning, construction and delivery of the project.

“Damage to the pipes means the facility’s current and future intake capacity is significantly compromised. There is no alternative seawater supply to the site meaning the pipe is essential to support Government research projects breeding snapper fingerlings for release into the gulfs, as well as the long-standing oyster breeding program.

“This pipeline also underpins the local seafood and aquaculture industries, providing seawater to support the Robarra Barramundi fingerling facility, live lobster processors, the University of Adelaide and supplying the Adelaide Zoo seal enclosure.

“This upgrade has been ignored for many years under the former Labor Government but is now being funded and delivered by the Marshall Liberal Government.

“The project will help deliver sustainable management and growth of South Australia’s fisheries and aquaculture industries and to protect the state’s fisheries resources and their environment.

“The infrastructure work will allow the state’s fisheries and aquaculture science, management, compliance and licensing teams to work from the one site assisting in the coordinated delivery of fisheries and aquaculture expertise across South Australia.

“The seafood sector is critical to South Australia’s economy with fisheries and aquaculture sectors producing about 66,000 tonnes worth $480 million in farm gate value in 2018-19.

“We are committed to growing our seafood industries and this project will help achieve that.

“The Marshall Liberal Government is building what matters to keep South Australians strong and safe, back businesses and create jobs.”

Planning for the upgrade works is underway with construction expected to begin in early 2021.

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