The harvesting of crocodile eggs and reducing bureaucratic red tape hampering prawn and fish farming are just two of a number of significant reforms that look set to unlock the aquaculture industry in the north.
Northern-based LNP Senator Ian Macdonald said the Joint Select Committee on Northern Australia’s inquiry into aquaculture in the north had made a number of important recommendations that would breathe new life into the industry.
“Northern Australia is perfectly situated to have a thriving, profitable aquaculture industry, however onerous regulations and outdated science have eroded both the confidence and willingness of investors to develop it further,” Senator Macdonald said.
“In the Northern Territory, harvesting of crocodile eggs supports a vibrant industry in which indigenous participants work and profit. There is no impact on the ecology.
“It is time the Queensland Government followed suite to create jobs and wealth for northerners.”
The inquiry’s recommendations would also remove some of the regulatory burdens that stifle the industry while creating greater transparency and improving the ability of the industry to manage its environmental responsibilities, Senator Macdonald said.
The Committee’s report ‘Scaling up’ recommends funding new research into the environmental impact of aquaculture in areas adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef and improving aquaculture regulations, establishing frameworks for offsets, and surveying crocodile egg numbers in Northern Queensland to determine the sustainability of crocodile egg harvesting.
“Aquaculture should be a major wealth creating and job supporting industry in the North. Adoption of the Joint Select Committee’s recommendations would go a long way to achieving this.”