Government promise to reel 'em in
PROMISES have been made to boost commercial fishing and aquaculture businesses in NSW with access to funding if the Coalition is re-elected.
The NSW Government made the announcement today with Minister for Primary Industries Niall Blair saying the program provides critical access to capital for those who operate fishing and aquaculture businesses.
This will mean aquaculture industries and commercial fishers will be able to access funding similar to farmers under the Farm Innovation Fund.
"Finding loans and good interest rates can often be a challenge for small businesses in the commercial fishing and aquaculture industries, that's why we are committed to making it easier for the industries by providing this funding," Mr Blair said.
"Access to this program will mean fishers and aquaculture farmers are able to improve their practices, adopt new technology and further support sustainable practice.
"Funding will also allow wholesalers the ability to upgrade their facilities and improve their weighing and handling systems.
"This may involve investing in vessels that are more efficient, new fishing gear, new transport and/or logistics solutions.
"Traditionally the lack of available and affordable capital to assist in the uptake of these technologies has been an impediment to the long-term growth of the industry."
This announcement comes off the back of the NSW Nationals' commitment to boost the Farm Innovation Fund by $350 million to $1 billion if elected in March.
NSW Nationals candidate for Coffs Harbour Gurmesh Singh said the fund would allow local farmers, fishers and aquaculture producers to plan with more certainty.
"This government understands just how important it is to put money on the table and back our coastal industries because they know just how vital they are to our continued growth and prosperity," Mr Singh said