Jobs to flow from KI reef environmental project
Today’s announcement of a Commonwealth investment of up to $2 million to restoring oyster reefs on Kangaroo Island has been hailed by local Federal MP Rebekha Sharkie as a job creator and a boost for the marine environment.
The proposed reef project near American River on KI is being facilitated through the environmental not-for-profit group The Nature Conservancy Australia and is being funded through a $20 million environment and heritage tourism package unveiled today by the Environment Minister Sussan Ley ahead of the Federal Budget.
South Australia has also been allocated funding to upgrade a reef project already underway off Glenelg and another 5ha reef project near Port Noarlunga.
Rebekha, the Member for Mayo which includes Kangaroo Island, said the environmental and economic benefits of restoring the marine environment are well documented.
You can watch Rebekha's Youtube clip about the project that was filmed during a visit to KI in July.
"I have certainly outlined those benefits to the Government and Environment Minister Sussan Ley in advocating for oyster reef restoration on KI, in addition to seeking the support of the State Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs,” Rebekha said.
“The Nature Conservancy has estimated that for every million dollars invested, oyster reef restoration creates 8.5 full-time equivalents (FTE) positions, creating more jobs than road developments (5.9 FTE), mining (2.5FTE) and regional airport upgrades (1.4FTE).
“These figures are based on the recent restoration projects at the Windara oyster reefs near Ardrossan in South Australia and in Port Philip Bay near Melbourne.
“The restoration of oyster reefs provides direct construction job opportunities which are desperately needed during these uncertain times.
“They also provide significant benefits to local commercial and recreational fisheries, enhances regional tourism, and present excellent aquaculture business opportunities in their own right.
“In addition, the reefs provide substantial environmental benefits, providing hotspot hatcheries for fish and other marine animals, as well as ‘water-cleaning’ services.
"Kangaroo Island has been doing it tough with the bushfires and now COVID-19, I look forward to following the reef restoration project during my trips to the Island."