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Joint Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
and
Australian Government Minister for Education, Science and Training
The Hon Dr Brendan Nelson MP

15 November 2005

Applications called for Marine and Tropical Science Research in north Queensland


Research into North Queensland environmental issues will receive a $40 million boost with the announcement today of research priorities for the Marine and Tropical Science Research Facility and a call for expressions of interest for funding.

Australian Ministers for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Education, Science and Training, Dr Brendan Nelson, said the Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF) would help address the demand for high quality research in North Queensland.

Located at located at James Cook University campuses in Cairns and Townsville, the research facility would be involved in examining the environmental challenges facing the Great Barrier Reef, the Torres Strait and tropical rainforests including the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

The $40 million will be allocated to research in five key priority areas:

The MTSRF is a key element of the Australian Government’s $100 million Commonwealth Environment Research Facilities (CERF) programme.

“This facility will help build on and enhance the research capacity established by the Cooperative Research Centres (CRCs) for the Great Barrier Reef and Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management to support world-class public good research into the vital needs of the North Queensland region,” Senator Campbell said.

“Research focusing on these areas will provide us with the critical information needed to determine trends, measure pressures and develop possible solutions to the key issues facing our environment,” Dr Nelson said.

“I would also like to congratulate Mr Warren Entsch, the Member for Leichhardt, and Mr Peter Lindsay, the Member for Herbert, for their tireless advocacy in support of this facility, and indeed for JCU as a whole."

Both Ministers paid tribute to James Cook University for the key role it is playing in the development and operation of the facility, and also to the work of the Interim Board of the facility which provided advice on its future operation and management, including the research priorities.

Expressions of interest for funding are invited today until 5pm on Friday 16 December 2005.

Further information about CERF is available online at www.deh.gov.au/cerf

Media contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Minister Campbell) 0418 568 434
Yaron Finkelstein (Minister Nelson) 0414 927 663

Commonwealth of Australia