Approximately 1,000 jobs are expected to be created through the delivery of seafood company Tassal Group’s $257 million projects in the Mackay-Whitsunday region of Queensland, which will take this region a step closer to becoming a major Australian aquaculture hub.
“Approval for Stage 4 expansion of Tassal Group’s existing facility near Proserpine were recently granted meaning construction can now start creating 100 construction jobs and further boosting operational jobs.
“An in further good news, today I can announce the Coordinator-General has declared Tassal Group’s $172 million project at Exmoor Station, north west of Mackay, a coordinated project which means a full environmental impact assessment (EIS) of the project can now begin,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
The Exmoor Station project, along with the Proserpine expansion, is anticipated to become the State’s largest land-based aquaculture facility.
The $85 million Proserpine expansion and the Exmoor Station project combined will produce up to 10,000 tonnes of prawns a year from 2026, doubling Queensland’s existing prawn aquaculture industry.
“That’s $257 million investment in North Queensland prawn farming set to create up to 1,000 jobs and has the potential for significant flow-on effects right along the supply chain for businesses across the whole region.
“Queensland has the potential to become the capital of global aquaculture which would be a major industry in the region which means local jobs.
“My government is committed to working with the private sector to grow industries that will create jobs for Queenslanders which is more important now more than ever as we unite and recover from the global pandemic,” the Premier said.
The Exmoor Station Prawn Farm is proposed to be built within the Mackay aquaculture development area (ADA) which is one of six ADAs that the Queensland Government designated and announced in early 2019 to attract growth in this sector.
“Tassal Group’s plans to further expand its Queensland production footprint into the Mackay ADA at Exmoor Station would deliver the state’s largest land-based aquaculture facility with state-of-the-art hatchery, nursery and processing facilities.
“The facility is also proposed to feature up to 1,000 hectares of production ponds,” State Development Minister Kate Jones said.
Following the declaration of the Exmoor Station project a coordinated project, the Coordinator-General will begin preparing a draft terms of reference for the EIS – as the next step of the assessment process – and invite the local community to provide feedback on the project.
According to Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner, aquaculture is one of the fastest growing sectors worldwide.
“This is why we set our goal of making Queensland the aquaculture capital of the world, so we can attract millions of dollars’ worth of investments and create jobs for hundreds more Queenslanders.
“In 2019 we set out to reel in new projects by designating six aquaculture development areas (ADAs) throughout the state and that’s what’s happening.
“This includes the Mackay ADA where Tassal Group is planning to convert Exmoor Station, a former cattle property, into Queensland’s largest aquaculture facility,” Mr Furner said.
Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert has welcomed the announcement regarding Tassal Group’s projects and said developing industries that will create local jobs has always been a priority.
“I’m a huge supporter of this proposal. Not only would it pump millions into our economy – it would create hundreds of local jobs.
“Aquaculture is a growing industry. This is a sustainable sector that has huge potential for Mackay and the Whitsundays in the future,” Ms Gilbert said.
Ben Daley, Head of Supply Chain and Commercial Services at Tassal Group said the company is pleased that its projects will help expand the State’s aquaculture industry, which will provide economic growth and a boost in jobs for regional Queensland.
“We look forward to continuing working with the Queensland Government on our plans to further develop the industry’s enormous potential.
“Queensland produces some of Australia’s best seafood and we’re confident there’s a bright future in increasing locally grown produce. We plan to meet growing demand from Australian consumers as well as selected overseas markets for a great tasting, quality product,” Mr Daley said.