The Liberal and Nationals Government is funding a project in regional Tasmania as part of its Securing Raw Materials Program, which is supporting businesses move to or expand into regional areas to research and develop innovative and locally sourced raw material supplies.

Liberal Senator for Tasmania, Claire Chandler said funding provided through the Securing Raw Materials Program would support local company Sea Forest Pty Ltd to move towards commercial-scale production of a Tasmanian native seaweed, Asparagopsis.

“The Government’s $3.8 million funding contribution will enable Sea Forest, in collaboration with the University of Tasmania, to develop a commercial scale land-based Asparagopsis production model,” Senator Chandler said.

This is in addition to previous funding awarded to Sea Forest including $1 million through the Entrepreneurs Programme and $675,000 from the Commercialisation Fund.

Asparagopsis is a common seaweed in Tasmania, which when introduced in low quantities into livestock feed has production benefits and greatly reduces the amount of methane livestock animals produce.

Minister for Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, said under the Securing Raw Materials program, regional Australian businesses can benefit from grants of up to $5 million for individual projects.

“Regional Australia is home to a number of the nation’s key industry sectors, which is why these projects are crucial to securing and strengthening the supply of improved raw materials to these vital industries,” Senator McKenzie said.

“We want to prioritise and strengthen our valuable partnerships between Australian businesses, our world-class research institutions and regional communities, ensuring regional Australia is at the forefront of innovation and change.

“As our regional communities continue to grow and thrive, the Government continues delivering on its commitment to grow industry and economic resilience in regional Australia.”

Senator Chandler said Sea Forest is pioneering a new and environmentally positive aquaculture industry in regional Tasmania through the cultivation of Asparagopsis.”

Liberal Candidate for Lyons, Susie Bower welcomed the announcement, and said the Government’s investment would create jobs in regional Tasmania.

“The Government’s significant investment in an innovative Tasmanian company will create more jobs in regional Lyons,” Ms Bower said.

“This project will continue to drive Tasmania’s unique position as a leader in seaweed aquaculture innovation, and create new jobs in this revolutionary industry.”

The Coalition Government continues to build on its more than $120 billion investment in regional Australia – the engine-room of our nation’s economy – to ensure a sustainable, prosperous and secure future for people living in the regions.

Only the Coalition will continue to deliver for Tasmania as part of our plan to build a strong economy and a stronger future.

More information on the Securing Raw Materials Program can be found at: https://business.gov.au/srmp2.