POSITIVE OUTLOOK: The state government reported a growth in jobs for the Wide-Bay Burnett region. Photo: Eliza Goetze
POSITIVE OUTLOOK: The state government reported a growth in jobs for the Wide-Bay Burnett region. Photo: Eliza Goetze

Wide Bay-Burnett job economy shows rapid growth

THE STATE government’s commitment to grow the aquaculture industry is paying dividends, with an increase in production and jobs for the sector.

New figures show aquaculture is a multimillion-dollar industry providing jobs for more than 600 Queenslanders, including in the Wide Bay-Burnett region.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said across the state the number of jobs in Queensland aquaculture grew by 18.7 per cent last financial year, from the equivalent of 525 full-time positions to 623.

“I’m fighting for jobs in this region every single day, and these new figures show that these efforts are paying off,” Mr Furner said.

“The annual Aquaculture Production Summary confirms we are on track with our goal to grow the state’s aquaculture industry, which will create hundreds more jobs in the regions.”

“This is why we set our goal of making Queensland the aquaculture capital of the world, so we can attract millions of dollars worth of investment and create jobs.

“Having a strong aquaculture sector and a sustainable commercial fishing industry will also mean more fresh and tasty Queensland seafood on tables around Australia and across the world.”

Mr Furner said the annual report demonstrated the strength of the aquaculture industry, with the prawn sector leading the charge.

The prawns industry is on the rise, especially in the Wide Bay region. Photo: Contributed
The prawns industry is on the rise, especially in the Wide Bay region. Photo: Contributed

“The prawn industry continues to recover from white spot disease as affected farms restock their ponds,” he said.

“Overall, the total value increased by 3.7 per cent to $118.4 million and there was an increase in total production of 6.1 per cent compared to last year.”

Mr Furner said the total value of the Queensland aquaculture industry is expected to increase further in the coming years,” he said.

“The continued recovery of the prawn sector, the release of six Aquaculture Development Areas and investment in aquaculture farms by companies such as salmon producer Tassal, mean a very bright future for the industry in Queensland.”

The 2018-19 Aquaculture Production Summary for Queensland is available online here.