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Investors Snap Up Aquaculture Leases

by 5m Editor
1 July 2006, at 1:00am

AUSTRALIA - Aquaculture investors have snapped up almost 200 hectares around Port Phillip Bay and Western Port, the Minister Responsible for Fisheries, Bob Cameron, announced today, reports the Australian Labor Party.

Investors Snap Up Aquaculture Leases - AUSTRALIA - Aquaculture investors have snapped up almost 200 hectares around Port Phillip Bay and Western Port, the Minister Responsible for Fisheries, Bob Cameron, announced today, reports the Australian Labor Party.

Mr Cameron said the success of the online auction was a show of support for the future of the Victorian aquaculture industry.

"A total of seven investors committed bids worth $575,000 for 18 Crown leases," Mr Cameron said.

"This represents close to a 60 per cent increase in the area of Crown land aquaculture sites in Victoria.

"The auction was the culmination of extensive public planning and consultation involving site identification and environmental assessment."

In Portarlington today, Mr Cameron was joined by Bellarine MP, Lisa Neville, who said the leases would provide certainty for the State's aquaculture farmers.

"The leases provide long-term security of investment for 21 years, with an option to extend the lease for a further 10 years at the end of the period," Ms Neville said.

"The outcome of this auction will enable Victoria's aquaculture industry to expand market share in its supply of premium shellfish, including mussels and scallops."

Mr Cameron said the auctions followed on from a $5.8 million announced in this year's State Budget for a new information system to ensure the sustainability of Victoria's commercial fisheries.

He said the new information system would replace the existing out of date system and ensure the commercial fishing remains viable in Victoria for future generations.

"The data collected by the new information system will help the Government and the commercial fishing industry make informed decisions about management of resources and fish stocks," he said.

"Victoria's commercial fishing industry has an annual turnover of more than $100 million and employs close to 2,000 people largely in provincial Victoria.

"The Bracks Government is continuing to invest in key services to ensure that the commercial fishing industry continues to be a viable industry and contributes to the Victorian economy."

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5m Editor