The Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources’ Queenscliff facility will welcome more Deakin University staff shortly under a new agreement that aims to establish the site as a Victorian National Centre of Excellence for fisheries and aquaculture sciences in temperate waters.

Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville said the Queenscliff facility was an ideal location for the partnership given its proximity to high quality saltwater and existing occupants with a marine fisheries, research and aquaculture focus.

The presence of research program staff from Deakin will deliver new opportunities for collaboration with Fisheries Victoria at Queenscliff and with local aquaculture companies based around the Bellarine Peninsula.

Victoria’s aquaculture sector is expanding and the Bellarine is a hub for mussel and abalone production. Connecting Deakin student’s education to local businesses will help all parties and improve prospects for future employment in regional locations, which is a goal of the recently released Victorian Aquaculture Strategy.

Another advantage of the partnership will be improved research and monitoring capabilities for Victorian fisheries including hands-on opportunities to hear from experts onsite about real fisheries management.

The association is also expected to strengthen opportunities to bid for Commonwealth funding for marine fisheries research and other aquatic science more broadly in south eastern Australia.

The move expands Deakin’s presence at Queenscliff, having operated there under a consortium arrangement for the past 24 years.