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Inaugural Australia prize topic announced



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The Hon. Barry O. Jones Minister for Science, Customs and Small Business.

Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Science and Technology.

IMMEDIATE RELEASE 28 AUGUST 1989 110/89

INAUGURAL AUSTRALIA PRIZE TOPIC ANNOUNCED COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY M IC A H

The inaugural Australia Prize will be awarded for work in 'Biological Sciences related to Agriculture or the Environment', the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Science, Mr Barry

Jones, announced today.

The Australia Prize is an annual international award established by the Commonwealth Government for an outstanding specific

achievement in a selected area of science promoting human welfare. ~

'The Australia Prize will be awarded annually and is worth $250 000, free of tax in Australia. I believe it will come to rank with other great International Science Prizes, such as the Nobel Prize and the Japan Prize,' Mr Jones said.

The first presentation of the Australia Prize will be made on 9 April 1990 in the Great Hall of Parliament. Nominations will be sought throughout the world in the next few weeks.

Mr Jones said that the Australia Prize showed the Government's

commitment to science of the highest quality, and the use of science to support human welfare.

It was particularly appropriate for Australia to select

'Biological Sciences related to Agriculture or the Environment' as the inaugural topic, Mr Jones said.

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'Australia has, and will continue to depend on, a highly competitive agricultural industry, using all the benefits of scientific research. We also recognise the importance of maintaining the quality of the environment both globally

and locally,' he said.

'The recent statement by the Prime Minister "Our Country our Future", showed this Government's commitment to

environment issues, including environmentally sustainable

development of industry. The basis for good management and

understanding of the environment is good science.'

Mr Jones said he was delighted that the following

distinguished people had accepted membership of the

selection committee:

Professor David Curtis FRS FAA (Chair, 1989-90)

Sir Geoffrey Badger AO FTS FAA Dr Lloyd Evans AO FRS FAA

Professor Priscilla Kincaid-Smith AC CBE

Mr Peter Laver .

Sir Rupert Myers KBE FTS Dr Michael Pitman OBE FAA

Dr Merilyn Sleigh

Dr Paul Wild AC CBE FRS FAA FTS

Sir David Zeidler CBE FAA FTS

The Australia Prize will be awarded each year in a field recommended by the selection committee. The Chair of the Committee will alternate between the President of the Australian Academy of Science and the Academy of Technological Science and

Engineering.

Mr Jones thanked the Academies for their support and assistance

in establishing the Prize and thanked the Shadow Minister for

Science, Mr McGauran, for the Opposition's bilateral support for the Australia Prize. *

CANBERRA Contact: Rob Shackleford

(062) 76 1834 (w)

(062) 51 1846 (h).