ON THE MOVE: Fisheries Minister Mark Furner tours the current barramundi hatchery in Gladstone last year.
ON THE MOVE: Fisheries Minister Mark Furner tours the current barramundi hatchery in Gladstone last year. Matt Taylor GLA110518BARR

Gladstone barra hatchery on the move after budget boost

ONE of Queensland's largest barramundi hatcheries will be relocated next year after a multi-million dollar funds injection from Tuesday's state budget.

The Gladstone Area Water Board fish hatchery will move from its Lord St location to Awoonga Dam after receiving $6.663million over two years.

From those funds, $5.283m will come in the 2019-20 financial year.

GAWB is obliged to stock Lake Awoonga with fish to support and promote biodiversity.

The new facility is expected to offer a tourist information centre and research and teaching opportunities for Gladstone students.

A GAWB spokesperson said planning and site selection for the project began in late 2015 and the site - at Awoonga Dam - was selected in August 2018.

"The new hatchery will be located at Awoonga Dam (and) GAWB is building a multi-species hatchery that will stock barramundi, mangrove jack and sea mullet," they said.

"The old hatchery facility will be demobilised in mid-July. An interim brood stock facility will be established to hold breeding stock while construction is under way.

"Project development will include concept design and development planning activities for the new site; scoping, specifications and process design of the new facility; construction and commissioning of the facility. Restocking will resume upon successful project completion."

The new facility will be constructed in late 2019 and fully operational by June next year.

"The benefits of the new hatchery include improved biosecurity, production rates and restocking numbers for all species," a spokesperson said.

"The new facility will also offer research and teaching opportunities for primary, secondary and tertiary students, along with a tourist information centre."

GAWB is also hoping to continue its Turtle Triage and Rehabilitation program, pending approval.

Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher said residents near Lake Awoonga will also benefit from a $1.646m investment in 2019-20 to help construct an emergency shelter, near the dam wall at Pikes Crossing.

 

An aerial shot of Awoonga Dam as it spilled over in March 2017.
An aerial shot of Awoonga Dam as it spilled over in March 2017. Aerial Media Gladstone

"There's a group of people when the dam overflows who become landlocked if they don't get out fast enough, so they'll use that emergency shelter as a hub if people get stranded," Mr Butcher said.

"The intention is also for the community to use that centre for whatever they like and it's situated on a hill out of the way of the water overflow.

"It will be a community hub as well as an emergency shelter when needed."



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