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Seafarms Project Sea Dragon a win for the north



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THE HON GARY GRAY AO MP SHADOW MINISTER FOR NORTHERN AUSTRALIA MEMBER FOR BRAND

SEAFARMS PROJECT SEA DRAGON A WIN FOR THE NORTH

Shadow Minister for Northern Australia Gary Gray MP welcomed yesterday’s announcement that Project Sea Dragon, a $1.45 billion prawn farm to be developed by Western Australian company Seafarms Group Limited, had been awarded Major Project Status by the Northern Territory Government and the Federal Government.

“This is a major aquaculture project. When underway, the project will increase Australia’s prawn production from around 5,000 tons per year to 100,000 tons per year. This will be one of the world’s largest aquaculture farms,” said Mr Gray.

“Project Sea Dragon will create thousands of jobs in the North and will provide opportunities for local Indigenous communities.

“Achieving Major Project Status is a very important milestone, and means that Seafarms Group will be able to access coordinated government processes such as environmental and biosecurity approvals.

“I congratulate Ian Trahar, Seafarms Group Chief Executive, and all others who have worked so hard to get this project off the ground.

“The Federal Government’s focus on Northern Australia’s potential is encouraging and welcome.

“However, the Federal Government promised that project proposals for its $5 billion concessional infrastructure loan facility for Northern Australia would be accepted from 1 July 2015.

“Yet here we are at the end of July and the Government has not even released eligibility criteria around the types of infrastructure that will be supported. There is no detail on the financial criteria that projects need to meet, and even geographic eligibility has not been settled.

“The Government announced the loan facility as part of its 2015-16 Budget, and repeated the promise in its Northern Australia White Paper released on 18 June.

“These announcements need to be backed up by action.

“The Government needs to explain the delay and the lack of detail around the governance structures for its big-ticket $5 billion loan facility.”

TUESDAY, 28 JULY2015

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