19/03/2021 | David Basham MP

South Australia’s aquaculture farmers now have a one-off opportunity to apply to extend their lease terms up to 30 years which will provide improved certainty and allow greater investment in the sector.

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development David Basham said this opportunity follows last year’s delivery of an election commitment to increase the maximum term for an aquaculture production lease from 20 to 30 years, and would strengthen South Australia’s aquaculture sector.

“Rather than wait until their next lease renewal period, aquaculture production lease holders can apply for a one-off extension to the term of their lease of up to 30 years from the day their lease was granted or most recently renewed,” Minister Basham said.

“This is part of our commitment to increasing investment and development for the highly valuable aquaculture industry and supporting jobs in regional South Australia.

“Longer leases will make aquaculture businesses more attractive to financial institutions, and may allow lease holders to borrow against their leases to unlock more of the potential value that lies within the South Australian aquaculture industry.

“I encourage any aquaculture production lease holders who feel they may benefit from a longer lease term to consider the criteria and submit an application. This is another example of how the Marshall Liberal Government is working to create jobs and opportunities in regional South Australia.”

This opportunity was made possible following an amendment to the Aquaculture Act 2001, and is available to aquaculture production lease holders with a term of 20 years or less, for leases issued before 3 October 2019. The term of a production lease cannot be extended more than once under this initiative.

Whether a lease term extension will be approved will also be dependent on other criteria, including their prior compliance with obligations under their lease, any corresponding licence and other legislative requirements.

South Australian Oyster Growers Association Chairman Rob Kerin said aquaculture production lease holders in the oyster industry welcomed the news.

“The ability to apply for a lease extension will give more certainty to lease holders and regional communities around South Australia that rely on aquaculture.

“Lease holders will be able to invest into their businesses with confidence, and find greater value in seafood from South Australia’s pristine waters.”

Full details, including the application form, are available at pir.sa.gov.au.