Tuesday 17 October 2006

[7.53 p.m.]

MR. FINCH (Rosevears) - Mr President, it is pretty obvious with a small landmass like ours surrounded by pristine, cool oceans, that we have a clear advantage in fisheries and aquaculture, a subject we have been talking about today in our debate over disallowing rules on the lobster fishery, just highlighting today that Tasmania is a leader in fisheries management. By a happy chain of events, coincidences and astute planning, Tasmania has also become a leader in the principles of ecologically sustainable aquaculture in intensive fin fish aquaculture, in seafood handling and processing and aquaculture diver training. In fact, Mr President, centres of excellence in all these specialties exist just a few kilometres downstream on the Tamar River in my electorate of Rosevears and because they are all in close proximity, they are being put to use to provide tailored training services in support of a new aquaculture venture being initiated in Malaysia.
I will say a story for another day will be about an inventor from Glenorchy who has invented a special net which helps to transport yellowfin tuna and because of the development of that net, which is world-class technology, it is enabling Malaysia to take on a new industry that is very exciting. The first intake of seven Malaysian trainees is now based at the Australian Maritime College's Beauty Point campus undertaking training to help this new yellowfin tuna aquaculture venture by the Langkawi Tuna Corporation which will produce very high value sashimi for the Japanese market. The Malaysian yellowfin tuna development offers exciting opportunities for Tasmanian providers of aquaculture goods and services and this training program is an example of the scope for export of the world's best practices in this rapidly expanding industry.
It is expected that upwards of 60 to 70 trainees will undertake similar training in Launceston over the coming three to four years. There is also scope for Tasmanian experts to develop similar training programs to be developed and delivered in Malaysia itself. The present intake of Malaysian trainees have been undertaking aquaculture diver training in the Tamar today, can you imagine that. They have been finding our waters a little too cool for comfort. They also find our spring weather very un-Malaysian but, nevertheless, they have been prepared to come here to Tasmania because we are able to provide a complete training package with the facilities and training centres virtually next door to one another.
Those involved in this exciting venture are the Australian Maritime College and several Tasmanian companies, including Global Marine Resource Management - that is a specialist fisheries and marine consultancy - the Underwater Centre Tasmania, which is at Beauty Point and said to be the best diver training team in the Southern Hemisphere, and also Van Diemen Aquaculture, and they are a leader in fin fish sustainable aquaculture, specialising in salmon aquaculture.
During the final two weeks in their two-month course, the Malaysian trainees will be applying their new skills in that on-the-job setting at Van Diemen Aquaculture. The course is being coordinated by Professor Paul McShane from Global Marine Resource Management under contract to the Canberra-based international project management company, Australian Marine Science and Technology Ltd. It is hoped that there will be future opportunities for the Australian Maritime College and specialist consultants to play roles in providing both advisory and contract research services to this Malaysian project developer, Langkawi Tuna Corporation.
The Malaysian project is not just confined to Tasmania providing training and advisory services. Tasmania is also providing specialised equipment that I mentioned through Universal Nets. This is a Hobart company specialising in manufacturing cages and nets for the aquaculture industry. This project demonstrates that Tasmania can do some things better than anyone else. Let us capitalise on those things where we have an advantage.