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Collie Future Fund projects moving ahead

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times

Rapid progress is being made on the State’s first demonstration marron farm just north of Collie.

Dam Fish received $75,000 in January to develop the farm as part of the Collie Futures Small Grants Program.

Marron breeding has started in existing facilities on the property while new ponds with nets and incorporating the latest technology will be built.

The farm is expected to open to the public in spring to showcase best practice to those wanting to improve their operations

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Owner Trevor Blinco said the initiative aimed to improve productivity and export opportunities by hosting demonstration field days and weekend workshops.

“That should boost job creation and provide economic pathways for local producers and investors,” he said.

“We’ll be showcasing new technologies including a 24-hour solar aeration system, and showing how to increase pond-stocking capacity through innovative hide design and layout.

“There will be a research and development component to the project, which will involve probiotics to assist in the reduction of cannibalism and improved gut health.”

Collie River Valley Marketing comittee members Roseanne Pimm, John Kearney and Kerry Roberts with Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray at Black Diamond.
Camera IconCollie River Valley Marketing comittee members Roseanne Pimm, John Kearney and Kerry Roberts with Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray at Black Diamond. Credit: Supplied

Collie River Valley Marketing received $70,000 as part of the same funding program to undertake a feasibility study into the management of Black Diamond Lake.

Committee member Rosanne Pimm said the group wanted to capitalise on the growing popularity of the lake.

“We are keen to hit the right balance between welcoming visitors to a ‘managed site’ and also being respectful of the local community,” she said.

“A managed site with facilities will provide visitors with a memorable experience at a unique, beautiful recreation site located on the trails network close to Collie.”

Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray took the opportunity to check the progress of both projects while Parliament was in recess this week.

He said he was proud to see funding go towards projects that would deliver direct benefits to the town’s diversifying economy.

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