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$12 million research collaboration for Ningaloo Reef region.

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Media Release

$12 million research collaboration for Ningaloo Reef Region

23 November, 2006

The Minister for Education, Science and Training the Hon Julie Bishop MP today announced a new $12 million research collaboration for Western Australia's Ningaloo Reef Region.

The research collaboration will be led by Murdoch University in collaboration with Curtin University of Technology, The Sustainable Tourism CRC, The University of Western Australia, Edith Cowan University, The University of Queensland, The Australian National University and CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans National Research Flagship.

“The Ningaloo region is a unique marine ecosystem and we need to ensure that we understand how we can best manage and conserve it for the future,” Minister Bishop said.

“The Cluster will bring the research capacity of eight institutions together to address the challenges affecting the management strategy for the Ningaloo Marine Park and adjacent coastal regions.

"It will be a unique research project for the Ningaloo region which will examine the reef’s habitats and biodiversity along with the human uses of the reef, and the social and economic aspects of tourism in the region.

"The aim is to develop integrated computer models and having these readily adopted to drive the effective planning for conservation and sustainable development.”

Minister Bishop said the Cluster will build on, and be complementary to, the research being undertaken by the Ningaloo Research Program that is part of the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI), a program initiated by the Western Australian government.

All research results will be shared with WAMSI and other government agencies to deliver information and management data to ensure the conservation and appropriate development options for the region.

As part of the $305 million over seven years provided by the Australian Government to the National Research Flagships, $97 million was specifically allocated to further enhance collaboration between CSIRO, Australian universities and other publicly funded research agencies.

The Flagship Collaboration Fund enables the skills of the wider Australian research community to be applied to the major national challenges targeted by CSIRO's Flagship Initiative.

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