Moreton Bay bug farm to set up at Chinderah
A WORLD class Moreton Bay bug farm is taking shape at Chinderah with plans to use seawater pumped all the way from Kingscliff.
The seawater, which would be pumped at least 4km, will be used in the Australian Bay Lobster Producers substantial operation. It is expected to be one of the world's largest bug farms.
As many as 200 people will be employed on the 45 hectare site, located west of Kingscliff, near Tweed Valley Way, when the project begins before the end of the year.
A commitment has been made with the Tweed Byron Aboriginal Land Council to favourably consider indigenous employment in the project.
It's excellent that one of the biggest bug farms in Australia is being built right here in the Tweed.
Tweed Shire Councillor Warren Polglase was all smiles when discussing the bug farm, which will also cater to research, development and tourism, alongside commercial bug production
"It's excellent that one of the biggest bug farms in Australia is being built right here in the Tweed," he said.
"This is a multi-million dollar investment happening in our backyard.
"That's what we need, people to come in and show business confidence."
Cr Polglase said the farm was approved by Tweed Council up to eight or nine years ago, so he was pleased to see all the pieces of the development puzzle falling into place.
"It's a sophisticated operation, they will be pumping seawater all the way from Kingscliff," he said.
"They'll likely meet the demands of the local market and they're planning to export."
Cr Polglase said the bug farm would be an environmentally friendly venture, with all waste-water filtered through treatment plants before being released back into the Tweed River.
"This is a solid indicator from international investors that there is confidence in the Tweed region," he said.
Moreton Bay bugs will not be the only product produced, with the sale of various other by-products also planned.
"ABLP has and will continue to explore technology that further improves waste management practices and brings value from its treatment of waste and by-products; these include but are not limited to the production of chitin, fertilizers, stock supplements and methane gas," their website states.
Chitin is a valuable by-product used in the medical, cosmetic and health food industries.
Moreton Bay bugs, also known as bay lobsters, are bottom-dwelling crustaceans that taste similar to other lobster species.