It may be a couple years in the making but Esperance is taking the first tentative steps towards becoming the abalone hub of Australia. With a community workshop tonight (Wednesday, March 6) at 530 at the Esperance Bay Yacht Club, Esperance residents have an opportunity to provide input and show their support or opposition of the possible new industry.
Ocean Grown Abalone have been researching and investigating prospective locations across the state and have arrived at a 34 hectare parcel of land opposite the current Esperance Waste Management site at Wylie bay ideal for an onshore abalone hatchery.
Ocean Grown can move on with a feasibility study of the spot after securing a 12 month lease off the Shire of Esperance, who own the land.
The industry would provide a huge economic boost to the local community, and the General Manager of Ocean Grown Abalone, Brad Adams, is (fairly) confident the facility’s construction could begin at some stage during 2020.
He spoke to Sean on the Triple M Esperance Breakfast Show.
‘Abalone farming today is very profitable in Australia. I believe we have selected a very suitable location, it’s very close to a town, it’s large enough to scale the business up’
The size of the business in Esperance is significant, and could be the largest operation in Australia, according to Mr. Adams.
‘Stage one we plan to be growing around about 250 tonnes of abalone (per year), plus supplying juvenile seed for our abalone ranches in Augusta and Wylie Bay’
The benefits for the town economically are also substantial.
‘(Stage one) would look like 40 to 60 jobs, and about a $20 million dollar investment… and it’s not a skilled labour force we need so kids just out of school, or whoever’
The Ocean Grown would also require all hands on deck during the construction stage, where local engineers and contractors would be sourced to help get the project off the ground.
To hear the entire chat from the show click on the link below!
The project and plans will be presented by General Manager Brad Adams to the community tonight at the Esperance Bay Yacht Club at 530. Often it is only protesters that arrive at these sessions, so get down there even if you are a supporter and make sure to contribute a variety of thoughts and concerns to the night.