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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
the Hon Dr Brendan Nelson

14 September 2005

New wave of environment research funding


Research into Australia’s most pressing environmental issues will receive a $100 million boost with the launch of the Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities (CERF) Programme.

The Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Dr Brendan Nelson said the programme would increase Australia’s capacity to understand and respond to key environmental issues.

Funding of $40 million will support a Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility, located at James Cook University, and will help to address the urgent needs of the North Queensland region, including environmental concerns facing the Great Barrier Reef, tropical rainforests and the Torres Strait.

A further $60 million will be allocated across Australia to support public-good environmental research through a series of competitive grant processes. The funding will support the establishment of national research hubs to build critical mass in areas of Australia’s research strengths, with some support also considered for significant separate projects and fellowships.

The $60 million will be allocated to research in four priority areas needed to protect and manage Australia’s environment into the future. They are:

“Research focusing on these areas will give us the critical information we need to determine trends, measure pressures and develop possible solutions to the key issues facing our environment,” Senator Campbell said.

“This research will make a valuable contribution to our efforts through the broader National Research Priorities in helping us to better understand and respond to the specific environmental challenges before us,” Dr Nelson said.

The CERF programme will support research that delivers public benefits in relation to our environment assets.

A Reference Group with scientific expertise will be established shortly to assess bids and make recommendations to the Government for funding.

Information seminars will be held all capital cities for potential research funding applicants, universities, industry and interested members of the community. Further information about CERF is available online at www.deh.gov.au/cerf.

Media contacts:
Yaron Finkelstein Dr Nelson’s Office 0414 927 663
Renae Stoikos Senator Campbell’s Office 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia