Arcadia will be the home of Victoria's newest fish hatchery if the state government gets its way.
Despite a formal application not yet in the hands of Greater Shepparton City Council, the Andrews Government has signed an agreement to purchase 170 ha of former dairy farming land on Ross Rd to build the $7 million project.
It is expected the hatchery will create up to 20 full-time and casual jobs, with indigenous Australians set to make up 50 per cent of staff.
“Our new hatchery will create new jobs, boost recreational fishing and tourism in the regions and cement Shepparton as the Murray cod capital of Victoria,” Fishing Minister Jaala Pulford said.
“With our hatchery at Snobs Creek operating at full capacity, the new Shepparton hatchery will allow us to grow more fish and expand native fish stocking for generations to come.”
The new hatchery site was chosen because it is in a warm climate, it has plenty of clay for building ponds and has access to high quality ground and surface water.
The hatchery will feature a 60-megalitre storage dam.
State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed said she was delighted about the announcement and would like to see tourism be a part of the plan.
“I think it's always a boost for the region to get something like this and I’m very keen to see a tourism element attached to it,” she said.
“I don't know to what extent the government are thinking that but I'll be certainly lobbying it as we go forward to make sure we get a real public accessibility to it with a tourist element because I'm firmly of the view that when projects are funded, or even companies in our area are funded, it's a real opportunity to boost our tourism opportunities."
The Victorian Fishing Authority will take possession of the site early next year with construction expected to begin in the second half of 2020.
The hatchery is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
For more information, visit: www.vfa.vic.gov.au/nativehatchery