Queensland boasts a number of existing advantages for aquaculture, and the Queensland Government has implemented major initiatives to maximise the profitability of our aquaculture industry.
Queensland's competitive advantages
Queensland is well positioned for successful aquaculture development. Our competitive advantages include:
- ideal growing conditions for temperate and tropical species
- an excellent reputation in the international marketplace for high quality seafood
- clean, unpolluted waters
- the greatest capacity for regional services in Australia, with major towns along most of the coastline
- extensive aquaculture research programs
- a widespread and diverse industrial base
- proximity to major seafood markets in the Asia-Pacific region
- freedom from many of the serious diseases affecting aquaculture in other countries.
Government and industry partnerships support development
Research and development
Research and development partnerships supporting industry development are focusing on a number of aquaculture sectors, including:
- tropical marine fin fish
- tropical rock lobster aquaculture
Queensland provides high quality veterinary support, with broad capability for disease incident management. Quarantine restrictions, surveillance programs and eradication and containment activities are well established to minimise the damage caused by pests and diseases.
Skills and people development
A range of courses tailored to industry needs are made available through Technical and Further Education (TAFE) institutions.
Managing for ecologically sustainability
The Queensland Government is committed to Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD).
- Risk assessments and rankings based on the National ESD risk assessment framework for aquaculture underpin all Fisheries Queensland policies and are used to determine conditions for aquaculture approvals.
- A recent review of aquaculture approval conditions shifted the focus to 'outcome-based' in order to promote the development of innovative designs and methods by industry.
- Action is being taken to proactively protect our fisheries resources from potential risks such as disease. This includes promoting public awareness of risks such as the use of imported product as bait.
Efficient processes for new applications
A streamlined and coordinated process for assessing applications has been developed:
- The Integrated Development Assessment System (IDAS) provides a single, integrated process for all development approvals, with statutory timeframes. As of March 2005, aquaculture development is assessed by means of IDAS which coordinates the assessment processes of the relevant stakeholder agencies and issues a single decision to the applicant.
- A process similar to IDAS has been implemented for the allocation of state resources.
- Queensland's environmental assessment processes have been accredited under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 via a bilateral agreement.
- Assessment and approval of land-based coastal aquaculture development under Queensland law has been accredited under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Aquaculture) Regulation 2000.
- Self assessable codes are employed for certain low-risk activities to reduce the requirement for individual permits but ensure that ESD objectives are met and that reporting requirements are fulfilled.