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Twelve full-time jobs to be offered under plans for Shepparton fish hatchery

By Liz Mellino

Shepparton’s new native fish hatchery is set to offer 12 full-time permanent jobs, with half of these supporting indigenous employment.

Victorian Fishing and Boating Minister Jaala Pulford was in Shepparton on July 17 for the announcement, which will see up to six indigenous positions created once the new hatchery is completed in 2022.

Ms Pulford said the fish hatchery would provide local employment opportunities for people keen on a career growing Murray cod, golden perch, silver perch and freshwater catfish.

‘‘Employing indigenous people to grow native fish like Murray cod will provide valuable jobs for people around Shepparton,’’ she said.

‘‘This is a wonderful opportunity for indigenous people who connect with fish to land a hands-on job supported by industry experts and leading education institutions.’’

To assist indigenous candidates pursuing the positions, the Victorian Fisheries Authority will partner with Melbourne Polytechnic and Deakin University next year to provide education, training and development opportunities.

Training will occur around Shepparton and online, as well as on-farm learning at the VFA’s Snobs Creek Hatchery near Eildon, and at private hatcheries throughout Victoria.

The two-year course will provide graduates with a Diploma of Applied Science, majoring in aquaculture, with the VFA currently exploring scholarships for high performing students completing the second year of the course to offer full-time employment.

‘‘We are really pleased with the partnership with the local indigenous community but also the innovative course work we have been doing with Melbourne Polytechnic and Deakin University so that people will have the qualifications and the skills that they need for what’s going to be a world-class fish hatchery,’’ Ms Pulford said.

The fish hatchery is a flagship commitment of the Andrews Government’s $35million Target One Million plan to get more people fishing and to grow millions of native fish annually to boost wild stocks for recreational fishers in Victorian rivers and lakes.

■Ms Pulford also visited the Snobs Creek Hatchery on July 16 to announce that fishing in Victoria will become easier and more accessible with 12 new projects across the state to be funded with fishing licence fees.

The Little Murray River will receive $68631 for new homes for iconic species like Murray cod and golden perch, with more snags and woody habitat added to the waterway.

Another $37000 will be distributed to the Victorian Fisheries Authority, who will harvest large on-grown Murray cod from irrigation channels and create new fishing opportunities by stocking them into urban lakes and selected local waters.

■Indigenous people can register their interest in the Shepparton native fish hatchery training program by emailing: improving.fishing@vfa.vic.gov.au

■For a full list of the new projects, visit: https://vfa.vic.gov.au/recreational-fishing/recreational-fishing-grants-program/licence-fees-at-work/licence-fees-at-work-2018-19