The West Rockhampton Treatment Plan (WRTP) will soon have a new lease on life, with the potential to be converted to an aquaculture precinct after its decommissioning.
The WRTP has reached the end of its life and is currently being decommissioned, meaning all waste flow will soon be diverted to the more effective South Rockhampton Sewage Treatment Plant.
The local council has been working with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) to determine potential sites in the region for aquaculture development and the council has identified the treatment plant as a possible location.
Rockhampton Region Mayor, Margaret Strelow, said reusing the existing infrastructure would allow for a potential re-engineering project to provide for a sophisticated tank-based aquaculture system.
“Decommissioning the site will leave us with ponds and concrete tanks which may lend themselves to an aquaculture farm, potentially breeding fingerlings to support the restocking of our local Barramundi or higher valued saltwater species,” Ms Strelow said.
“With its close proximity to the barrage, the site already has power and access to both fresh and saltwater, which is essential infrastructure for any aquaculture development.”
Ms Strelow said it could also include education, research, hatchery, grow out and processing facilities.
“The site could play a vital role in the development of our aquaculture industry to educate residents, provide fingerlings to other aquaculture developments and produce a significant amount of product for local, domestic and international markets,” Ms Strelow said.
“It is very early stages at the moment as we begin to explore the possibilities, and we will work with an aquaculture specialist to determine what type of operation would best suit the existing infrastructure.
“We are also developing an Aquaculture Industry Development Plan, which will outline a series of different strategies to develop the industry within our region.”