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Archived media releases and speeches


Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Dr David Kemp

10 December 2002

Kemp Welcomes Increased Environmental Research Funds

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Dr David Kemp welcomed the Howard Government's support of environmental research through the grants announced today for the Cooperative Research Centres.

"Eleven CRCs undertaking environmental research will share in more than $145 million in funding from the Howard Government," Dr Kemp said.

"Three new CRCs will be born from this funding round, while another three will be developed from existing CRCs.

"The grants will help bring together universities, government agencies, industry and other users of research for long term research and development activities.

"These projects will stimulate research on subjects as varied as water use and greenhouse gases in areas as diverse as the Great Barrier Reef to Antarctica.

"From rainforests to deserts, the Howard Government is supporting the research work and fostering the linkages throughout the community so necessary to put Australia on a sustainable basis.

"Along with the Sustainable Environment Committee of Cabinet and the nomination of a sustainable Australia as one of our four national research priorities, these environment CRCs demonstrate the Howard Government's commitment to Australia's environment," Dr Kemp said.

Media contact:
Catherine Job (02) 6277 7640 or 0408 648 400

Cooperative Research Centres Programme Environment Sector


Eleven Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) dedicated to environmental research will receive more than $145 million of Commonwealth funding in the 2002 CRC selection round. Highlighting the importance of environmental issues to Australia's social and economic progress, CRCs in the environment sector have been a key focus of the CRC Programme with 26 Centres funded since its establishment in 1990.

There have been many achievements over this time including:

The 2002 round of funding sees three new CRCs being established in this sector as well as funding for the development of three new CRCs from existing CRCs, and supplementary funding for five existing CRCs. Research efforts will cover a wide range of fields including bushfire research, the management of dryland salinity and research on the Antarctic climate and ecosystems.

Bushfire CRC
(New CRC) $24.8 million

The Bushfire CRC will develop a comprehensive understanding of the behaviour and dangers of bushfires, given local differences in vegetation, land management and weather. The research will be applied in both the biophysical context taking into consideration control of air quality, maintenance of biodiversity, prescribed burning, and the social context including enhanced safety of people and buildings during bushfires. A key objective of the CRC will be to increase the self-sufficiency of communities in managing the risks from bushfires.
Contact: Dr Graham Creer Tel: (03) 9899 5088

CRC for Irrigation Futures
(New CRC) $16 million

The CRC for Irrigation Futures will endeavour to halve water use within Australia, and define sustainable irrigation areas and practices. It will address the needs of stakeholders by delivering the science to secure outcomes of irrigation enterprises, services and communities that can adapt to changing markets, technologies and environmental demands. This CRC will examine the issues of urban, industrial and rural communities sharing and reusing water. Further, it will seek to enhance analytical capacity, knowledge and technology in this area, and seek more profitable and efficient irrigation enterprises and services that improve environmental outcomes.
Contact: Dr Wayne Meyer Tel:(08) 8303 8683

Desert Knowledge CRC
(New CRC) $20.68 million

The Desert Knowledge CRC will support the development of thriving desert knowledge economies in order to sustain inland Australia. The aim of the CRC is to provide the mechanisms for inland Australia to better develop and disseminate an understanding of sustainable living in remote desert environments, in order to reduce the dependence of inland Australia on external subsidies and provide a better life for all desert people. The CRC will create a strong partnership between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians in pursuing these aims.

The CRC will consolidate and coordinate business, government and research efforts, which are dispersed among many jurisdictions and organisations in desert Australia, creating an effective critical mass and providing knowledge and systems that are tailored to desert conditions. Through research, development and implementation, the CRC will provide new desert land uses and management options, and service-based enterprises that provide remote communities with sustainable infrastructure and service options at lower costs. Other outcomes will contribute to capacity-building and training, a DesertNet that creates better local, national and international networks for knowledge building and for business, as well as adaptive approaches to policy and management for desert communities with variable economic and social environments.
Contact: Professor Paul Wand Tel 0419 011 440

CRC for the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems
(Developing from Existing CRC) $23.54 million

Australia has the largest Antarctic territorial claim of any nation, and more than half its Exclusive Economic Zone is in the Southern Ocean. The CRC for the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems will serve as the keystone of the national effort to value these regions, and will focus on the sustainable management of Antarctic marine ecosystem resources and the impacts of Southern Ocean climate processes on Australia. The CRC will undertake four scientific research programmes: the climate variability and change programme, the sea level rise programme; the Antarctic marine ecosystem and the ocean control of carbon dioxide programme.
Contact: Professor William Budd Tel: (03) 6226 7888

CRC for Sustainable Tourism
(Developing from Existing CRC) $26.7 million

The CRC for Sustainable Tourism is Australia's only scientific research and development facility managing and delivering research to support the sustainability of Australia's tourism industry. The aim of the CRC is to provide global leadership in strategic R&D to improve the sustainability of the tourism industry to maximise the economic, environmental and social benefits it delivers to Australia. The CRC's research programme encompasses the issues faced by small and large operators, tourism destination and natural resource managers, land custodians and the other stakeholders in the industry. One of the CRC's main objectives includes improving economic and environmental performance of tourism enterprises, especially small and medium-sized tourism enterprises, by development and diffusion of knowledge and technology.
Contact: Professor Terry De Lacy Tel: (07) 5594 8172

CRC for Environmental Biotechnology
(Developing from Existing CRC) $19.5 million

The CRC for Environmental Biotechnology will use cutting edge biotechnological techniques to enhance existing biologically based environmental processes as well as producing new advanced bioengineering technologies. The benefits to Australia will include valuable new chemicals from waste, improvements in the efficiency of waste treatment and transformation of low value byproducts into high valued products. Some of the key technology platforms underpinning this research will include production and management of biofilms and the use of novel biosensors in aqueous and non-aqueous systems. The significance of, and potential applications for this research, include their use in the multibillion-dollar meat and livestock industries, water, wastewater and solid waste industries, and chemical, oil-processing and food industries.
Contact: Dr David Garman Tel: (02) 9385 4886

CRC for Plant-Based Management of Dryland Salinity
(Supplementary Funding) $5 million

The CRC for Plant-Based Management of Dryland Salinity exists to manage water in the landscape through profitable farming systems based on perennial plants. This supplementary funding will add two new programmes with the objectives of developing and demonstrating profitable and practical animal production systems based on salt and waterlogging tolerant plants on discharge areas, and developing and demonstrating profitable and practical animal production systems for recharge areas using new and existing perennial plants. The new programmes will also seek to protect, enhance and restore biodiversity values in agricultural landscapes through an understanding of the impact of new and existing land use systems on the native biota.
Contact: Professor Philip Cocks Tel: (08) 9380 2555

CRC for Rainforest and Reef – Catchment to Reef
(Supplementary Funding) $2.25 million

The Catchment to Reef programme will develop new tools and protocols to identify, monitor and mitigate water quality problems and will assess the health of aquatic ecosystems in the Wet Tropics and Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. This integrated catchment to reef approach aims to minimise the downstream effects of agriculture and improve the health of the Great Barrier Reef Lagoon and its feeder catchments. This programme will provide the tools needed by landholders, industry and other stakeholders to monitor the effects of land use changes and restoration on water quality.
Contact: Professor Nigel Stork Tel: (07) 4042 1246

CRC for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area
(Supplementary Funding) $3 million

The supplementary funding for the CRC for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area will build on the excellent track record of the CRC which brings together diverse partners to undertake research for the conservation and ecologically sustainable management of marine resources in the Torres Strait. The focus of the research is on understanding the dynamics of the harvest and use of marine resources in the Torres Strait and the natural systems on which harvested resources depend. Research into low-tech, high value mariculture opportunities will provide important bases from which to develop industries appropriate to the economic development of the Torres Strait Peoples.
Contact: Dr Bruce Mapstone Tel: (07) 4781 5251

CRC for the Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management
(Supplementary Funding) $3 million

The CRC for the Coastal Zone, Estuary and Waterway Management will develop technology to rapidly map and assess shallow coastal water habitat. A toolkit for seabed and estuarine habitat assessment will be developed by the CRC. The toolkit will include underwater mapping technology, resource assessments for marine management, training kits and visualisation techniques. Through the CRC, new services and commercial opportunities will be developed to better understand, define and manage marine parks, estuaries and coastal waters in Australia and overseas. The project will be applied initially at Western Australia's Cockburn Sound and Recherche Archipelago, and at Sydney Harbour. The project will use acoustic mapping techniques, together with stereo-video technology, to provide rapid and cost-effective habitat and bathymetric mapping in shallow waters up to 20 metres deep. Equipment attached to small vessels will provide onboard data for real-time analysis. Detailed 3-dimensional maps will allow scientists and marine planners to better understand the physical and biological composition of marine ecosystems.
Contact: Dr Roger Shaw Tel: (07) 3362 9398

CRC for Greenhouse Accounting
(Supplementary Funding) $1.35 million

The goal of the research programme is to ensure that measurement accounting for non carbon dioxide (CO2) greenhouse gas emissions is based on sound science and coincides with sustainable agricultural practices. This will inform the development of sustainable agricultural practices to minimise greenhouse gas emissions. The two over-arching objectives of the supplementary programme include providing key inputs that will enable on-farm management of non-CO2 greenhouse gas sources to be based on sound science and providing strategic research outputs to support the further development of non-CO2 emissions accounting within the National Carbon Accounting System and other environmental management models. The programme will provide a coordinated national approach to research in non-CO2 greenhouse gases in agricultural systems that will ensure widespread positive impact on Australia's agricultural productivity and help reduce the nation's greenhouse gas account.
Contact: Dr Chris Mitchell Tel: (02) 6125 5092

Commonwealth of Australia