Work is under way on the Moreton Bay Bug Farm at Chinderah.
Work is under way on the Moreton Bay Bug Farm at Chinderah. Blainey Woodham

Moreton Bay Bug farming jobs

WORK is underway on the long-stalled Moreton Bay Bug farm at Cudgen, on the eastern side of the Tweed motorway.

Scores of jobs in the aquaculture industry are expected to be created as a result of the development.

Yesterday officials from Bay Lobsters Producers, which first proposed the ‘bug farm’ in 2004, were remaining tight-lipped about progress. However Tweed mayor Warren Polglase, who opposed the project when he was previously mayor, welcomed it.

“If it creates opportunities for the Tweed it’s of great value to us,” he said.

“We are always looking for industry and people to invest in the Tweed. It’s probably a risk for these people to take it on, but we support them 100 per cent now.”

That support was not there in December 2004 when canefarmers, vegetable growers, residents associations and other landholders voiced concerns about plans for 45 hectares of ponds on the 180 hectare site which would hold seawater several metres above surrounding cane land.

Homeowners from the Oxley Cove estate on the other side of the Tweed River raised a stink about the potential smell of up to seven truckloads a day of rotting squid to be fed to the Moreton Bay Bugs.

The ponds are to be filled and refreshed with seawater pumped from the nearby Kingscliff coastline.

Cr Polglase said earthworks had been taking place on the site “for quite a few months now”.

“We’ve also got this tourist seafood trail from Coolangatta through the area,” he added.

“The bug farm could add a complementary thing to that. There are plusses.”

A receptionist for Brisbane-based Australian Bay Lobster Producers yesterday said a spokesperson would call back, but that did not happen prior to the publishing deadline of Tweed Daily News.

The company has however posted several galleries of photos on its website showing progress in earthworks.

The website says the bug farm “will initially produce 165 tonnes ...growing to approximately 1,000 tonnes per year at the completion of Stage 1, expanding to 3,000 tonnes per year by the completion of Stage 3.”

“Upon completion of Stage 1 the project will directly employ approximately 95 people.”

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