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Science organisations to recieve $12 million upgrade



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MINISTER F O R

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TECInllNlOLOQY THE HON. ROSS FREE

UNDER EMBARGO UNTIL 3.00PM 20 AUGUST 1991 113/91

SCIENCE ORGANISATIONS TO RECEIVE $12 MILLION UPGRADE

Science funding is to be boosted by over $12 million in this

year's Budget.

The Minister for Science and Technology, Ross Free, said he was

very pleased with the Budget outcome.

"The increased funding shows the Government's continuing

commitment to ensuring that scientific research plays a

significant role in Australia's future economic, social and

environmental development," he said.

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Of the $12 million, $10.7 million will go to CSIRO, and $640,000

each to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology

Organisation (ANSTO) and the Australian Institute of Marine

Science (AIMS) in 1991-92.

The funding will be used by the three agencies for a planned

capital asset management program that will encompass capital

replacement, refurbishment, repairs and maintenance.

"As a result they will be able to ensure that the standard of

the capital infrastructure is maintained in accord with the high

standard of research being undertaken by the agencies," Mr Free said. .

COMMONWEALTH

PARUAMEN fARY LISRARY MICAH

MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY, TECHNOLOGY AND COMMERCE

- 2-

"The greatly improved facilities will also provide additional

encouragement for today's young students to choose scientific

research as their career." .

Mr Free also welcomed the decision to provide extra funds for

AIMS of $440,000 per year over three years to extend the Great

Barrier Reef program.

The monitoring program is presently confined to determining the

impact of the crown of thorns starfish upon the R e e f .

A full investigation of factors affecting the health of the

Great Barrier Reef, such as nutrients, trace elements, fish

stocks and hydrodynamics, can now be undertaken.

"The increased knowledge that will be acquired is essential to

maintain the Reef as a unique Australian ecological and economic

resource in the long term," he said.

"It is also of great importance to the tourism and fishing

industries on the Reef - tourism in that area alone is estimated

to be worth $2 billion per annum."

CANBERRA Contact:

Stephen Smith

Minister's Office

Phone: (06) 277 7280 (w)

(06) 295 0578