FISH and chips fans and seafood lovers at Apollo Bay will benefit from a redevelopment of the town’s fisherman’s co-operative.
A new roof, cooling system and commercial kitchen will allow the Apollo Bay Fisherman’s Co-op to sell cooked fish and chips direct to the public.
The co-op’s director Nick Polgeest said the upgrades would improve the look of the building and enable the group to export seafood to China.
“You have to reinvent yourself and we feel the only way we can reinvent ourselves is through value adding,” he said.
“The look of the place will be 1000 per cent better than what it is at the moment.”
Mr Polgeest said the funding was a welcome relief given the state of the fishing industry.
“The whole thing is really about more jobs and trying to make the fishing industry more sustainable,” Mr Polgeest said.
“We’ve been belted around the head a fair bit with the downsizing of marine parks,” he said.
The upgrades will cost $171,000 with the State Government chipping in $50,000 and the co-op paying the balance.
Member for Polwarth Terry Mulder said the expansion would boost the town’s economy and bring in tourism.
“The project has the potential to create five full-time jobs and the new infrastructure will improve business opportunities and increase business resilience and productivity,” he said.
The State Government also considered public health when issuing the grant.
The money will fund the replacement of the co-operative’s existing asbestos roof.
“For health reasons that means a lot when you start to sell fish and chips,” Mr Polgeest said.
The co-op sells fresh seafood from the region, such as flake and crayfish, direct to the public.