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Minister appoints new RIRDC [Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation] Chair

Federal Minister for Primary Industries and Energy, John Anderson, today appointed Professor Beth Woods as the new Chairman of the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC).

Professor Woods is the Foundation Professor of Agribusiness at the University of Queensland, Gatton College. This position is funded by the Queensland Industry Development Corporation.

A former Rhodes scholar, Professor Woods has worked as a senior horticulturalist with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and has considerable experience in extension and the management of research and extension activities.

"Professor Woods also has significant knowledge and experience in the agribusiness area, with a special interest in northern Australia and the Asian region," Mr Anderson said.

"RIRDC will indeed benefit from her abilities, as it has from the efforts of the previous Chairman, Mr Bob McCarthy.

"I would like to personally thank Mr McCarthy for his valuable contribution to the Corporation and the rural industry in general."

Mr Anderson said RIRDC will continue to fund RD for the newer and emerging industries that do not yet have the structure to fund and manage an RD program.

"RIRDC will also fund generic rural RD, such as that related to farm health and safety or integrated pest management," he said.

Media contacts:

Robert Haynes, Mr Anderson's office, 0419 493 511; 02 6277 7520

Craig Penney, DPIE, 02 6272 4476

Internet: anderson/index.html