James Cook University has welcomed the State Opposition’s election commitment of $67 million for its proposed Tropical Aquaculture Accelerator.
It says the initiative is expected to support $2.6 billion in gross regional product and create more than 11,000 jobs by 2035.
The Accelerator, to be based at JCU’s Douglas campus, will combine the university’s expertise in aquaculture innovation, research and commercialisation with industry partners and world-leading, fit-for-purpose facilities.
LNP leader Deb Frecklington said an LNP Government would contribute $67 million to build the Tropical Aquaculture Accelerator, with JCU investing a further $630 million in operating costs over the next 30 years and industry $42 million.
“The LNP’s plan will revolutionise aquaculture in our state and create a decade of secure jobs for North and Far North Queensland,” she said.
“Queensland has the potential to be a world leader and world beater in this industry.”
JCU Vice Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding said the Tropical Aquaculture Accelerator would kickstart the expansion of Northern Australia’s aquaculture industry.
“This shovel-ready project is critically important to the future growth of northern Queensland’s aquaculture industry,” she said.
“This commitment means we can develop aquaculture as an industry in northern Queensland as previous generations did with beef, by working with industry and investing in research, training and infrastructure to support rapid and sustainable growth of the industry.”
The Dean of Research at James Cook University Professor Andrew Krockenberger said aquaculture production in northern Australia was forecast to increase five-fold within a decade and deliver a $1.34 billion per annum export industry, creating thousands of jobs.