Millions to be invested into tropical water quality research

THE Australian Government is investing more than $31 million over six years for research into tropical water quality through the National Environmental Science Programme.

Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd said the government had selected the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre to lead the Tropical Water Quality Hub in partnership with a team of high calibre researchers from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, four universities and CSIRO.

"I welcome the selection of Central Queensland University for the hub partnership," Mr O'Dowd said.

"This boost to science funding will help manage the risks to tropical water quality from infrastructure, agriculture, extreme events and biosecurity threats."

Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said the research would assist in the management of coastal and marine water quality in Australia's tropical regions, including the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.

"As well as improving water quality, species such as turtles and dugongs will benefit from us having a better understanding of their status and trends. The research will underpin on-ground management actions," Mr Pitt said.

The hub would be led by Professor Hurriyet Babacan, a recognised international scholar, who was awarded the Order of Australia this year.

The research partners involved have an impressive track record of delivering practical science that has informed the Great Barrier Reef Outlook Report 2014, the Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan, Crown of Thorns Starfish management, and Synthesis Report on dredging impacts on the reef.

The Tropical Water Quality Hub is part of the National Environmental Science Programme - a competitive merit-based programme with six research hubs.

The government is providing $142.5 million to give certainty to researchers so that science programmes can be planned and completed in a way which ensures flexibility and alignment with current environmental policy needs.

The government is committed to integrating science into decision-making as a key principle of good environmental policy.

This research will ensure decisions about managing Australia's biodiversity and environmental resources are made on the best available information.
 



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