Council commits to expand aquaculture industry

Published on 28 November 2023

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Rockhampton Regional Council has joined as the inaugural partner for Rockhampton State High School’s Barramundi Grow Out program.

As part of the initiative, Rockhampton Regional Council will provide $15,000 in funding over 3 years to support the on-going operational costs at the recently opened Rockhampton Aquaculture Facility.

Through this partnership, the Barramundi Grow Out Program will educate 160 students and support 6 staff annually across the school to deliver vital aquaculture training.

Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor, Tony Williams welcomed the partnership which will not only educate the workforce of the future but also support the region’s fishing tourism through the delivery of up to 3,000 barramundi fingerlings each year.

“We’re focused on supporting the jobs, industry and education initiatives which will drive our local economy in the decades to come,” Mayor Williams said.

“Aquaculture is the fastest growing food industry globally.  In the past 12 months alone, the total value of the Queensland aquaculture industry has increased by over 16 per cent.

“With total value of production in aquaculture growing to $220 million in 2021-22, there is a real opportunity to bring the benefits of this industry to the Rockhampton Region.”

“What’s more by providing fish stock to the Fitzroy River catchment this facility will be supporting our local fishing tourism industry and helping us develop our mighty Tunuba into a fishing mecca.”

As part of the partnership, Advance Rockhampton will work with Rockhampton State High School in showcasing the state-of-the-art facility to inward investors who are focused on furthering local aquaculture development options.

“Coupled with two of the state’s largest Aquaculture development areas already declared locally, showcasing centres like the Rockhampton Aquaculture Facility will go a long way in the Rockhampton Region becoming a major aquaculture hub.”

Rockhampton State High School, Materials Technology Head of Department, Lachlan Wells thanked Council for their on-going support of the program.

“This is the start of an exciting new chapter for our aquaculture program, and crucial to the development of our students learning.”

“There will be a focus on having as many fingerlings as possible tagged and released which will assist citizen science, while supporting the region’s recreational fishing tourism asset.”

Rockhampton State High School looks forward to continuing our enduring partnership with Advance Rockhampton through Rockhampton Regional Council, to ensure both our students and local business community can reap the rewards of our new facility.”

The Rockhampton State High School Aquaculture Centre was officially opened in September 2023 proudly funded and supported by the Queensland Government.