A $100 million aquaculture project 40km north of Bowen has been granted prescribed project status by the Queensland Government.
Pacific Reef Fisheries proposes to construct 259 one-hectare aquaculture ponds, 1.5 metres deep on a total site area of about 768ha.
The prawn farm project will also include:
- 11.3 ha seawater storage pond (370 mL storage capacity)
- 47 ha discharge remediation area
- intake and treated discharge water pipelines (approx. 5.5 km long)
- freshwater storage pond and water reticulation system
- seafood processing facilities
- farm support infrastructure (storage, workshops, accommodation)
Earthworks on the site are due to commence midyear.
The Guthalungra project, adjacent to Elliot River, will be the second North Queensland aquaculture project for Pacific Reef Fisheries, who are already operating a facility in Ayr.
State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Minister Cameron Dick said the project was expected to support 130 jobs during construction and 220 jobs once operational.
“Prescribed project status will help ensure this aquaculture facility can become a reality sooner,” he said.
“It’s innovative and ecologically sustainable farming, and it’s going to provide a real boost for one of our most popular food exports.”
Prawns will be grown using a world-first bioremediation technology created in conjunction with James Cook University.
Member for Mackay and Assistant Minister for State Development Julianne Gilbert said economic diversification was key to creating more jobs for the region.
“If we want to give our communities more employment opportunities, we’ve got to get behind projects like this,” Mrs Gilbert said.
“That’s what our government is doing. We’re making it easier for more jobs to reach our region.”
Prescribed project status enables Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General to assist the proponent in progressing the project.
The Office of the Coordinator-General is working with the proponent to help them secure operational works approvals, with the aim of starting construction in June.