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Oyster hatchery a pearler for Eurobodalla economy

Eurobodalla’s economy is set to receive a major boost after Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis announced $2.3 million in funding last Friday to construct an oyster hatchery at Moruya Airport.

Funded under the Australian government’s Regional Jobs and Investment Package, the project is expected to create up to 33 jobs and has the potential to generate $11.3 million in regional income.

Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes said she was thrilled the Australian government had made such a significant investment in Eurobodalla’s economy.

“This is a really exciting and innovative project that will be a catalyst for economic growth and jobs for our region,” she said.

“A focus of this Council is to foster economic development, and this is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when governments and the community work together.”

“Our local oyster growers came to us a few years ago concerned when they couldn’t source Sydney Rock or Triploid Pacific Oyster hatchery spat and wanted our help to safeguard the future of their industry.

“We’ve been working hard behind the scenes ever since, developing a business case and applying for funding. We are absolutely thrilled with this result.”

The hatchery will supply Sydney Rock and Pacific oyster spat as well as mussel spat to local estuaries and other farmers in NSW. Sourcing reliable, quality oyster spat is currently a major challenge for the oyster industry.

The state-of-the-art facility will be built by Council on land at Moruya Airport then leased to a commercial operator. It will incorporate a shellfish hatchery, aquaculture training facilities for workers and students, and research and development facilities.

After the hatchery is complete in mid-2020, a second phase of the project is planned to include a tourism facility and an export packing centre to meet overseas demand for shellfish.

“It will be a one-stop shellfish shop, introducing visitors and locals alike to the world of shellfish production and enabling our local food producers to value-add, pack and despatch their produce right at the airport,” Clr Innes said.

Clr Innes said it was a very exciting time for Eurobodalla, with major projects like the Batemans Bay Regional Arts, Aquatic and Leisure Centre also on the horizon.

Above: Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis announced $2.3 million in federal funding for a state-of-the-art oyster hatchery in Moruya last Friday with Council’s business development manager Sarah Cooper, local oyster grower Ben Ralston and Eurobodalla Mayor Liz Innes. Media Release

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