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Thursday, 7 November 1985
Page: 1802

Senator Grimes —On 21 August 1985 (Hansard, page 86) Senator Reynolds asked me, as Minister representing the Minister for Health, a question without notice concerning the location of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine within the Australian National University and the return of the Tropical Medicine Research Unit to northern Australia.

The Minister for Health has provided the following information:

The honourable senator will be aware that the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine is now part of the recently established Australian Institute of Health. In order to best meet the objectives of the Australian Institute of Health, consideration has been given to the possible relocation of the activities of the School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. One of the options considered was the relocation of a number of these activities to Canberra in association with the well established research facilities at the Australian National University and this matter has been discussed openly with staff in the School. However, no final decision on relocation has been taken.

With respect to the question of the re-establishment of a Tropical Medicine Research Unit in northern Australia, I would draw the attention of the honourable senator to a statement by the Prime Minister on 24 September, 1985 following the meeting of Cabinet in Townsville which indicated that I have commissioned two consultants, Dr Kerr White and Mr Mick Reid, to undertake an independent review of the appropriate arrangements for public health and tropical health teaching and research requirements for Australia. The terms of reference include a specific reference to examine a proposal for the establishment of a Tropical Research Unit in Townsville. I anticipate that a report will be available for consideration by the Government at the end of this year.