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$55M Boost to tropical marine science

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01 July 2009

A $55 million boost to Tropical Marine Research will greatly increase understanding of Australia's complex marine ecosystems and support jobs, particularly in regional areas, according to Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

Opening the Tropical Marine Research Facility Project at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS) near Townsville, he said:

"The boost will take the facility to the next level, securing its leading role as the world's best marine science centre, alongside the world's biggest coral reef. "

"Australia's marine industry is worth $8 billion per year and it's vital to boost marine research infrastructure.

"We have the third largest ocean territory in the world, but too little is known about our marine region.

"AIMS is building a range of new infrastructure in both Townsville and Darwin to fill the knowledge gaps, with $55 million in funding provided in the Federal Budget under the Super Science Marine and Climate initiative.

"A major part of the project will be the Australian Tropical Oceans Simulator at the Townsville site. This will enable AIMS scientists and their collaborators to conduct detailed experiments to understand and predict the effects of global and local changes on the marine environment.

"The Tropical Marine Research Facilities Project will provide new avenues for national and international collaboration to undertake experiments that were not possible before.

"This investment represents a decisive move towards redressing the shortfalls in marine science funding identified in last year's review of the national innovation system," Senator Carr said.

For further information, please contact:

Patrick Pantano, Minister's Office

Phone: 0417 181 6

Dr Ian Poiner , AIMS CEO

Phone:07 475 440, 041 702 652

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