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Chinese firm to open massive land-based shellfish hatchery on Sunshine Coast

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Construction is nearing completion at a massive land-based shellfish hatchery and research facility near Saltery Bay on the Sunshine Coast.

The 34,000-square-metre facility is the first phase of a planned $40-million build-out south of Powell River that is expected to create 30 to 50 local jobs. The company Hummingbird Cove Lifestyles is a subsidiary of Linghai Shenziting Sea Cucumber Hatchery in China’s Liaoning province.

Although construction was delayed by several months due to a lengthy government licensing process and an ongoing legal conflict with a local building contractor, the facility is set to open in February, according to Dan Dyble, a business consultant and spokesman for the firm’s owners.

“Without the approvals in place, we had to slow down construction, but we are quite close to completion now,” said Dyble. “It took longer than expected, but we are moving forward nicely.”

Hummingbird Cove is licensed to produce 23 species of seafood, including urchins, geoduck, sea cucumbers, scallops, oysters, clams and mussels, according to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).

The firm intends to harvest wild scallops to use as brood stock to produce scallop spat (larvae) for their own use and for sale to other local aquaculture operations.

“There is a huge hole in the local spat market,” said Dyble. “Why are (local) growers bringing in spat from New Zealand?”

Owners Xi Ping Ding and Zhiyi Chen plan to add a second facility to grow and export mature shellfish by September, 2020. Once the second phase of investment is completed, Hummingbird Cove will be among the largest shellfish hatchery and farming operations in North America, when operating at full capacity, according to the company website.

Ding and Chen have opened an office under the name Pacific Aquaculture International in Powell River to manage the company’s international interests, but the firm has been flagged as “not in good standing” after failing to file a mandatory annual report according to B.C. Registry Services.

Fresh sea water drawn in to the facility and returned to the ocean is not degraded or altered, the owners say.

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The facility’s DFO permits allow installation of two new intake pipes and allows the hatchery effluent to be discharged into Jervis Inlet, subject to review and approval of the utility tenure by the provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

“DFO recommended mitigation measures during construction of the intake pipes, including an on-site qualified environmental monitor to supervise the intake pipe site preparation and installation, to assess for any species of concern, and to apply mitigation measures to ensure the protection of fish,” the department said in an email. “The proponent has agreed to these measures.”

Pacific Aquaculture has no plans to raise finfish on the site and has consulted with affected First Nations from the project’s inception.

“We were initially worried about waste going into the ocean, but that will be filtered,” said Clint Williams, elected chief of the Tla’amin First Nation. “We have concerns about net-pen (salmon) farms, but this is a dry-land facility and we are eager to see that it is as green as they say it is.”

Members of the Tla’amin community worked on the construction of the hatchery over the past two summers and Williams is optimistic that the second phase of the project will result in permanent jobs for his people.

Hummingbird has faced a number of legal hitches during the construction process, one of which is yet to be resolved.

According to documents filed with the Supreme Court of British Columbia, a $3-million lawsuit filed against Ding and Chen by Richmond businessman Morris Chen for unpaid loans was resolved November 30. A $118,289 builder’s lien filed by Dick’s Lumber for building materials was resolved July 26.

However, another suit was filed earlier this year by contractor Creative Property Developments, the firm brought in to assembled prefabricated buildings on the site. Work stopped after a conflict arose about the suitability of the foundations, according to documents filed with the Supreme Court of British Columbia. Creative is seeking $157,000 for work completed, extra work requested by the defendants and loss of profits.

Hummingbird filed a counter claim against Creative in the amount of $464,000 for failing to complete the work as agreed.

Work resumed on the site after a third party engineer verified the suitability of the foundations, according to Dyble.

“I’ve never worked on a large construction project that doesn’t have setbacks,” he said. “When you look at the magnitude of what we are trying to do compared with what already existed before in Canada, that’s normal.”

 

Originally Published: http://vancouversun.com/

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Infrastructure

City Deal a $58bn ‘Game Changer’ for Southeast Queensland

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City Deal a $58bn ‘Game Changer’ for Southeast Queensland

South-east Queensland could be green-lit for the biggest “city deal” in Australia, with a $58 billion proposal to guide its growth, and the prime minister announcing his support for the major plan.

With a focus on supporting diverse sectors within the region including housing and planning, tourism, manufacturing and education, the SEQ City Deal could also pave the way for government-owned land to be opened for development.

Queensland deputy premier Jackie Trad this week released Transforming SEQ, which highlights 35 “opportunities” that could be considered as part of the future City Deal, including six “game changers” for the region.

“Modelling by KPMG has shown a SEQ City Deal could stimulate an increase of up to $58 billion in our economy by improving the productivity and competitiveness of the region,” Trad said.

‘Game Changer’ for Southeast Queensland

Prime minister Scott Morrison will be meeting with the SEQ Mayors and Queensland government to discuss the proposal this week.

The City Deal, which involves all three levels of government — council, state and federal — would see government working on priorities to drive the SEQ economy.

Under a City Deal plan, all three levels of government sign an agreement to set the priority infrastructure projects and initiatives.

City Deal a $58bn ‘Game Changer’ for Queensland

Integrated land-use planning approach?

Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison described the announcement as “a game-changer for the region.

“Our growing cities and urban regions are the engine rooms of the Australian economy,” Morrison said.

“The city deal model brings together all levels of government around the same plan to boost productivity and jobs through targeted investment in city-shaping projects and infrastructure.”

Property Council Queensland director Chris Mountford said the council has been collaborating with state government and SEQ councils for nearly six years on the potential for a city deal.

“The State and local governments have also agreed in principle to a more coordinated integrated land-use planning approach,”

“Opening up under-utilised government-owned land for development has also been agreed as a clear opportunity to unlock economic activity, create jobs and build business confidence.”

City Deal a $58bn ‘Game Changer’

Growing population

The region’s current 3.5 million population is forecast to increase to 5.3 million within the next 25 years, ultimately requiring an extra 800,000 homes and additional one million jobs.

Focus has been placed on the recently released people mass movement study which identifies the impact of the expected population growth on the region’s ability to cope with future transport demand.

Minister for Cities Alan Tudge said he, along with the prime minister, will be meeting with the SEQ Mayors to discuss the Deal.

“We need to cater for this rising population and the SEQ City Deal will be a huge step forward,” Tudge said.

South-east Queensland is already home to over two-thirds of the state’s population.

The region is home to nearly one in every seven Australians.

The agreement marks the second city deal for Queensland following the policy being first established in Townsville.

So far, city deals have been developed for Western Sydney, Townsville and Launceston, and a further four more are currently under negotiation in Adelaide, Hobart, Perth and Geelong.

 

Source: brisbaneinvestor.com.au

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Infrastructure

$63b infrastructure plan to keep SEQ moving till 2041

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$63b infrastructure plan to keep SEQ moving till 2041

It’s going to cost $63.7 billion to keep South East Queensland moving over the next two decades, according to a study released today by the region’s mayors.

The population of the region is expected to grow by about 1.8 million people to more than five million people by 2041, putting extraordinary demand on the already strained transport network.

The SEQ People Mass Movement Study lists a total of 47 projects designed to keep city-to-city trips under 45 minutes and urban commutes under 30 minutes, including a faster rail network connecting the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast via Brisbane and west to Ipswich and Toowoomba.

Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said the infrastructure plan, coined the Strategic Transport Road Map, would keep the region “economically productive” while maintaining its liveability.

“Business as normal is not going to work, we need to increase the amount of money that is being spent in South East Queensland,” Cr Quirk said.

He said the plan would require an average expenditure of about $2.7 billion per year until 2041, which he said was “not an unrealistic figure”.

“What we are seeing in Sydney and Melbourne right now is this massive spend on infrastructure. That’s because they allowed it to get too far behind. We cannot do that in South East Queensland.”

He said there had been no shortage of plans for the region’s transport network, but it was time for all levels of government to unite with a shared vision.

Redland City mayor Karen Williams said the plan delivered the projects over a “reasonable amount of time with a reasonable amount of investment”.

“It’s not a matter of ‘can we afford this?’ It’s the fact that we can’t afford not to do it,” Cr Williams said.

Faster Rail is not as fast as high speed rail, which delivers speeds up to 350km/h, but could run at about 160km/h with top speeds of up to 200-250kmh, with limited stops.

It would be connected to the light rail networks on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast in order to ease congestion on major arterials.

Other projects include the Brisbane Metro, Cross River Rail and road upgrades, including the Pacific, Sunshine, Centenary, Ipswich and Logan motorways and the Bruce, Warrego and Mt Lindesay highways.

The study also took into account emerging technologies including autonomous vehicles.

It was first proposed in 2016, and began in September 2017, with the aim of bringing together multiple local, state and national transport studies into one cohesive plan.

The South East Queensland region takes in the Brisbane City, Ipswich City, Lockyer Valley Regional, Logan City, Moreton Bay, Redland City, Scenic Rim Regional, Somerset Regional, Sunshine Coast and Toowoomba Regional council areas.

Source: brisbaneinvestor.com.au

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Infrastructure

First look at new university campus north of Brisbane

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sunshine coast

Builders have started hauling heavy machinery into Petrie, as construction commences on the University of the Sunshine Coast’s new campus.

When completed, the multi-storey building will boast a large lecture theatre, an auditorium and a number of teaching rooms.

It will accommodate 1200 students studying up to 50 courses including business, education and computer sciences.

“There’s some quite innovative spaces inside the building,” Greg Baumann, from building company Hansen Yuncken, said.

sunshine coast

Construction at the site has officially begun. (9NEWS)

Positioned next to the Petrie train station, the new campus will slash travel times for thousands of students who live between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Greg Hill said the lack of university locations north of the city has seen up to 1500 students travel from the Moreton Bay area to the Sunshine Coast campus every week day.

“Moreton Bay is one of Queensland’s fastest growing regions, but has been the only region of its size in Australia without its own full-service university campus,” Professor Hill said.

“You have a better chance of finding a young person with a degree in outback Northern Territory, than you do in Caboolture.

“It’s an outstanding statistic, and we’re going to do something to fix it.”

sunshine coast

An artist’s impression of the new campus. (Supplied)

The new campus has the full support of the Moreton Bay mayor, who described the development as “well overdue”.

“This is just fantastic for the future of the young people of the Moreton Bay region” Allan Sutherland said.

“There are a lot of families here that just never even envisaged that they would end up going to university. All that is about to change.”

The foundations should be finished by early next year, with the university expected to open its doors ahead of Semester 1 in 2020.

Source:www.9news.com.au

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