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Media Release
Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

22 April 2005

New funding to create world's largest tropical science research hub

The Howard Government will invest $40 million to support world-class research on the Great Barrier Reef and tropical rainforests, the Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell announced today.

The funding will be provided under the Commonwealth Environment Research Facility (CERF), announced by the Prime Minister in September 2004.

The CERF is aimed at creating national research hubs and building critical mass in areas of Australia's environmental research strengths and national research priorities. The CERF specifically supports proposals that demonstrate strong public good outcomes.

Senator Campbell said the commitment to public good research will create a world class hub of tropical science and management expertise in North Queensland and represents a further instalment to the national research effort by the Coalition Government.

Funding of $3 million will initially be provided in 2005-06 to establish the Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility and to consolidate the work of the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for the Great Barrier Reef and the CRC for Tropical Rainforest Ecology and Management.

The creation of the Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility delivers on the Howard Government election commitment to establish the Facility as part of a Tropical Sciences and Innovation Precinct at the James Cook University (JCU).

"We need to ensure this unique environment is properly understood and that we can continue to manage and develop the area in a sustainable way," Senator Campbell said.

"This funding will ensure that world class environmental researchers can continue to work on key projects vital to our understanding of the Great Barrier Reef and tropical rainforests."

"Funding for the Facility will provide an opportunity to build on previous research and to create stronger links between managers, researchers and the industries that rely on these unique environments," Senator Campbell said.

Media Contacts:
Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell's office) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia