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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
Australian Minister for Education Science and Training
Dr Brendan Nelson MP
8 August 2005
The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Dr Brendan Nelson, have welcomed the new group of experts that will meet for the first time today to progress plans for the Australian Governmentís $40 million Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility.
The new Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility will support important research relating to the Great Barrier Reef and Tropical Rainforests in North Queensland.
Senator Campbell said the interim Board for the Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility would advise the Australian Government on priorities for environmental research in North Queensland.
"The Board will oversee the development of a four-year research investment strategy for the new Facility and will drive research on environmental problems relating to the Great Barrier Reef, the Torres Strait, the tropical terrestrial ecosystems in their adjoining catchments, and the regionís industries and communities," Senator Campbell said.
"I have also asked the Board to consult widely with North Queensland communities, including Indigenous and Torres Strait communities, industry and businesses in the development of its advice. A Scientific Consultative Committee will also be established to assist the Board in identifying research priorities and developing the research investment strategy."
Dr Nelson said the Board members comprised diverse experience, including representatives from regional business and industry, research organisations, Co-operative Research Centres, community groups and government agencies.
"This new Board has diverse expertise and experience and will be critical in providing quality advice about environmental research priorities for North Queensland and how to best address them," Dr Nelson said.
"I congratulate Mr Warren Entsch, the Member for Leichhardt, and Mr Peter Lindsay, the Member for Herbert, on the key role they played in bringing this research centre to North Queensland."
Prominent Cairns businessman Richard Ireland will chair the new Board, with Professor Russell Reichelt, currently head of the CRC for the Great Barrier Reef, serving as CEO once the Facility is established. The Board will be supplemented in the coming weeks by a representative from North Queensland natural resource management bodies.
The Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility is part of the Australian Governmentís $100 million Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities initiative.
Further information about the Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility and the Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities (CERF) programme is available online at www.deh.gov.au/programs/cerf
Renae Stoikos 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434
Yaron Finkelstein 02 9465 3990 or 0414 927 663
Richard Ireland, Chairman, Director of Irelandís and well-known North Queensland businessman with a long-standing interest in environmental problems facing local communities and businesses.
Daniel Gschwind, Deputy Chairman, Chief Executive of Queensland Tourism Industry Council.
Craig Stack, member of the Townsville Chamber of Commerce and Director, research and evaluation for Knight Frank P/L.
David Hutchens, President of the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators and Managing Director of Fantasea Cruises based in the Whitsunday islands.
Josh Gibson, Executive Director of the Wet Tropics Management Authority.
The Honorable Virginia Chadwick, Chairman of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
Judy Stewart, Chief Executive Officer of the Great Barrier Reef Research Foundation.
Sean Sullivan, Assistant Secretary, Environment Research and Information Branch, Department of the Environment and Heritage.
Professor Russell Reichelt, Chief Executive Officer of the Co-operative Research Centre for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Professor Norman Palmer, Pro-Vice Chancellor of James Cook University.
Dr Steven Morton, Group Executive, Environment and Natural Resources, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation.
Dr Ian Poiner, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Institute of Marine Science.
Sir Sydney Schubert, Chair of the Board of the Co-operative Research Centre (CRC) for Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management and also Chair of the Board of the CRC for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.