The NSW Government has shelled out a $10 million investment which could see the region’s oyster industry double its workforce.
The announcement of a $3.3 million equity investment in Australia’s Oyster Coast (AOC) – a group of oyster growers on the NSW South Coast – was made by Deputy Premier John Barilaro and Bega MP Andrew Constance recently.
The invest will be combined with a $6.7 million investment from First State Super – the government’s new GO NSW Equity Fund, which was established with partners First State Super and ROC Partners last year.
Mr Barilaro said the investment would see the government take an ownership stake in AOC.
“This isn’t a helping hand for these oyster growers, it’s a smart business decision – an investment that’s backed by industry experts,” he said.
“It shows that if you are in NSW, have a great product and receive a bit of smart backing from the NSW Government then the world really is your oyster.”
Mr Barilaro said NSW had the “biggest and best” oyster industry in the country and the government was backing AOC to help build its brand and business operations.
“This investment will allow AOC to more than double its workforce to 75, creating 40 new full-time equivalent jobs,” he said.
Bega MP Andrew Constance said he was pleased the investment would deliver more jobs.
“AOC has done a fantastic job for the region since it was formed in 2013 by eight local growers. They’ve built a recognised brand for their product and I look forward to seeing the results.”
AOC CEO Mark Allsopp said the cooperative was unique in producing three varieties: Sydney Rock Oyster, the rare Angasi ‘flat oyster’ and the popular Pacific Oyster.
“These oysters are grown under rigorous environmental management systems in some of the world’s cleanest waters by passionate growers with generations of experience – we’re delighted that this investment will support more growth,” Mr Allsopp said.