Fishery centre may be off the hook

THE Grafton Aquaculture Centre may be safe.

On Tuesday The Daily Examiner reported that staff at the facility, located at the Grafton Agricultural Research and Advisory Station, had been told that the centre would close within 12 months.

But during Question Time in the NSW upper house yesterday, National Party MLC Melinda Pavey asked the Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald about the Government's plans for the centre.

Mr Macdonald said he 'no plan whatsoever' to close the facility.

The Opposition spokesman on primary industries Duncan Gay said he was glad to hear that, despite rumours to the contrary, there were no plans to close the facility.

“As the only freshwater research facility in NSW it is a valuable facility and we'll be watching closely to make sure Mr Macdonald keeps to his word,” Mr Gay said.

The aquaculture centre was instrumental in research that saved the endangered Eastern Freshwater Cod from extinction and in recent years has been at the forefront of research into the science and economics of silver perch farming. It is credited with being responsible for the establishment of a 350 tonne a year silver perch aquaculture industry on the North Coast.

The veterinary lab at Wollongbar research facility is to close.



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