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$40 million for two new water centres of excellence.



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PW 242/08 28 November 2008

$40 MILLION FOR TWO NEW WATER CENTRES OF EXCELLENCE

The Rudd Government is calling for proposals to establish two Centres of Excellence to lead the way in building the knowledge and technology required to secure Australia’s water supplies.

Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, said the Government would provide $40 million to establish the Centre of Excellence in Desalination in Perth and the Centre of Excellence in Water Recycling in Brisbane.

“These Centres of Excellence will generate the new knowledge and technology we need to secure the future water supplies for our towns and cities - a key aim of the Government’s Water for the Future plan,” Senator Wong said.

“The Centres of Excellence will help to drive smart investment in energy-efficient desalination and water recycling technology.

“This funding honours an election commitment and we will contribute $20 million over five years to each of the centres to support their research program.”

The location for each of the Centres of Excellence recognises existing skills and experience in Perth and Brisbane. However, participation in the centres’ activities will be encouraged from across the nation.

“The Centres of Excellence initiative is a component of the $1 billion National Urban Water and Desalination Plan,” Senator Wong said.

“Through this plan, the Rudd Government is helping secure water supplies to meet the long-term needs of Australia’s towns and cities by funding desalination, recycling and stormwater harvesting projects.

“These initiatives are an important part of Water for the Future, which aims to secure our water supplies, use water wisely, tackle climate change and support healthy rivers.”

Proposals are sought from prospective administering organisations to establish the two centres. Separate proposals are required for each centre.

Proposals must be received by 6 February 2009. Guidelines are available from www.environment.gov.au/water.