New Torquay Reef a Boost for Local Jobs and Local Fishing

Huge concrete modules built by a local Geelong manufacturer will be installed in Victorian waters to create one of the largest artificial reefs in the state.

Visiting family owned local concreter Bates Pipes and Products today, Agriculture Minister Jaala Pulford said the concrete, custom made reef modules will be a great boost to Geelong’s industry and economy.

The 25 large reef modules will soon be installed three kilometres offshore between Breamlea and Torquay, creating exciting new fishing opportunities for boat-based anglers in the years to come.

Measuring over four meters high and weighing up to 20 tonnes, the modules will create variable water currents and movements that attract baitfish and predators such as kingfish – a prized catch among recreational anglers.

As soon as weather conditions make it safe to do so, the modules will be transported from the Port of Geelong, through Port Phillip Heads, and then installed in 25 metres of water off Torquay.

The $1.5 million fish habitat enhancement project is funded mainly through revenue from the sale of recreational fishing licences.

Bates Pipes and Products is a family owned business which employs 30 local staff. It has been operating in Geelong since 1995.

The project is consistent with the Andrews Labor Government’s Target One Million plan to boost fish stocks, invest in fishing and boating facilities and increase the number of recreational fishers in Victoria to one million by 2020.

The design of the reefs minimises impacts on the surrounding environment and complements natural dynamic processes that are important to fisheries and marine ecosystem health.

The project complements other successful artificial reef projects in Victorian waters, such as those in Port Phillip Bay and East Gippsland.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Agriculture, Jaala Pulford

“This project is a great example of the highly skilled manufacturing workforce we have here in Geelong – a region that for generations has powered jobs, growth and innovation.”

“The Andrews Labor Government is supporting local businesses in Geelong to create jobs and encourage growth.”

“We’ll make sure Victoria is the best place to wet a line and invest in projects that promote this great pastime.”

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Friday 16th Jan 2015

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