‘The lifeblood of our regional communities’: Australian seafood industry welcomes Infrastructure Australia report

‘The lifeblood of our regional communities’: Australian seafood industry welcomes Infrastructure Australia report

Seafood Industry Australia (SIA), the national peak-body representing the Australian seafood industry, has welcomed the Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps report released by Infrastructure Australia on March 17. 

The Regional Strengths and Infrastructure Gaps report provides government, industry, businesses and the community with a guide to support record migration and further growth, off the back of the 200 per cent increase in growth in Australia’s regional areas in 2019/2020. This regionalisation trend has continued with the first quarter of 2021 being the largest internal migration on record.

“For years we have known our great Australian seafood producers are the lifeblood of the regional and rural communities in which they operate, and this report reinforces that fishing and aquaculture, coupled with our counterparts in land-based agriculture and forestry are the key regional growth sectors for 34 regions around the country including Tasmania and the Eyre Peninsula,” SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta said. 

“The regional and remote communities in which our fishers are based are eager to capitalise on new opportunities and technologies available to industries. However, they need to have robust, reliable and resilient infrastructure networks to tap into this growth. Governments at all levels, businesses and communities themselves, have acknowledged the need to address these challenges for many years, but too often they work in isolation.

“For the seafood industry, infrastructure is about more than just somewhere to tie up boats and process seafood. It’s about making sure we have the appropriate roads and airports to ensure a timely delivery of our produce to markets, having access to reliable energy sources to power our farms and facilities, and placing a focus on broadband and mobile connectivity to keep our fishers safe and connected at sea. Our science, research and extension centres need to be supported so Australia’s primary producers can continue to lead the world in areas of sustainability, traceability and by-catch reduction as well as providing access to education and skills training.

“Last week’s release of the ABARES Australian Fisheries and Aquaculture Outlook 2022, showed the Australian seafood sector would reach $3.55 billion GVP this year, the highest since 2002-03, and this year, for the first time ever, we are set to see Australia’s aquaculture products grow to $2.16 billion, up 21 per cent from last year. The sector’s growth is forecast to continue both domestically and internationally, backing the sector’s growth towards the $100 billion Ag2030 goal. However, we need the long term support and investment in regional infrastructure to ensure this can happen. 

“Infrastructure underpins and protects jobs, businesses and livelihoods in the wild-caught and aquaculture sectors, and countless more positions downstream in post-harvest, freight and beyond, while supporting the regional communities in which we are based.” 

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For more information or to organise an interview with SIA CEO Veronica Papacosta please contact 

SIA Communications and Public Affairs Manager Jessica McInerney

E: jessica@seafoodindustryaustralia.com.au M: 0420 695 431