If elected in March a Marshall Liberal Government will reform the structure of aquaculture leases in a bid to treble the $908 million industry and create new jobs.
The State Liberals will amend the Aquaculture Act 2001 to enable aquaculture lease holders to borrow against their leases and unlock the huge potential that exists within the industry.
“We have a positive and ambitious plan to treble South Australia’s $908 million aquaculture industry which will create thousands of new jobs,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.
“There are over 1,200 people currently employed in the aquaculture industry which includes some of South Australia’s finest seafood like bluefin tuna, marine finfish, oysters, mussels and abalone.
“Overseas and interstate markets are hungry for South Australia’s world-class seafood and demand is well and truly outstripping supply for our premium seafood.
“That’s why we will take the shackles off our aquaculture industry so it can reach its full potential by exploiting these opportunities, boost our exports and support job creation.
“The South Australian Oyster Growers Association (SAOGA) says that these reforms could treble the oyster industry to over $100 million which would create much needed regional jobs.
“Obviously the oyster industry is going to go through a very tough time over the next 12 to 18 months as it recovers from the recent POMS outbreak but we’re confident with the appropriate support and our positive reforms the industry will come out on the other side even stronger.
“We’ve been consulting the aquaculture industry, financial institutions and exporters who are all supportive of these reforms.”
The State Liberals also announced a review of PIRSA’s cost recovery policy across all fisheries with the review to reduce the overall cost and red tape burden on South Australia’s fisheries industry.
“The fisheries industry directly employs more than 6,000 people and the majority of their produce is exported bringing millions of dollars into our economy,” said Mr Marshall.
“At the moment industry members are dissatisfied with the current cost recovery model as it lacks transparency and they believe they are subsidising a disproportionate amount of PIRSA’s overheads.
“That’s why we will initiate an independent review of PIRSA’s cost recovery policy with the aim of reducing costs and red tape for industry, as well as increase transparency."