Major investment in Tasmania's salmon industry Mon 8 October 2012 Bryan Green Deputy Premier Tasmania's salmon industry is set for major expansion worth tens of millions of dollars following the go ahead from the Commonwealth to increase marine farming on the West Coast. Deputy Premier Bryan Green today welcomed the decision which gives the green light to expand marine farming in Macquarie Harbour and will create over 250 new jobs. "The expansion has undergone the most extensive environmental assessment ever of a marine farming development in Tasmania." Mr Green said. This follows the decision by the Federal Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Populations and Communities Tony Burke, that the expansion does not require further assessment. Mr Green said Mr Burke had decided that salmon farming in Macquarie Harbour would not have a significant impact on any matters of national environmental significance identified under the Environment Protection Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 if undertaken in accordance with the State's framework to manage the industry. "The key to this project has always been that the expansion is sustainable for the long-term. Mr Green approved an amendment to the Macquarie Harbour Marine Farming Development plan earlier this year which paved the way for new lease areas to be provided subject to approval under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. "The Government will now work with the industry to ensure the expansion complies with the established framework to ensure sustainable growth of the industry. "Tasmania's salmon industry has been a great success story and the expansion will be a huge boost to the West Coast and the broader Tasmanian economy. "This is a vote of confidence in the future of our aquaculture industry and Tasmania's unique brand values. Mr Green said the expansion plans by Tasmania's major salmon producers Petuna Aquaculture, Tassal and Huon Aquaculture had the potential to triple production. Mr Green said the development would pour more than $88 million into the regional economy in the first five years and create 100 jobs during the construction phase. "A further 160 production and processing jobs will follow the expansion of the farming areas. "The Government is a strong supporter of the salmon industry and welcomes this important investment to grow the sector. Mr Green said the farming area would be increased to 926 hectares taking up 3.3 per cent of the harbour, an increase of just over 1 per cent. "An expert reference group will advise on future monitoring and management of the farming operations. "The strong focus on sustainability gives the Government and the industry great confidence for future growth. Mr Green said salmon farming began in Macquarie Harbour in the late 1980s and production this year was expected to reach 8000 tonnes. "Tasmania's salmon industry is setting an exciting pace in the growth of our food and beverage sectors. "The value of salmon production has increased by $250 million in the past five years, growing by almost $1 million a week. "Last year the industry produced over 30,000 tonnes of fish and now employs over 1000 people. "The Government's support further demonstrates our strong focus on growing the primary industries sector through investment that will sustain jobs," Mr Green said.