On 9 January I had the pleasure of officially opening the Portarlington Mussel
Festival. Festivals like this one are extremely important to local communities,
and this was of particular importance to Portarlington this year. As members may
be aware from media reports in recent times, the local mussel industry has had
its challenges. But the local mussel farmers along with the Department of
Primary Industries and research scientists have been working together and have
come up with a solution to increasing mussel spat.
This festival was a great opportunity to try and buy, and
hopefully it will restore our market share in respect of mussels.
More than 10 000 people attended this year’s festival, and I
take this opportunity to thank the festival committee under the leadership of
Richard Underwood for a magnificent organisational feat, the local volunteers
and also the previous festival committee for starting this calendar event. The
festival promotes mussels, local produce and Portarlington as a holiday
destination and as a great place to live, work and raise a family.