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Queensland research facilities short-listed for Commonwealth funding.

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Eleven proposals involving Queensland are amongst a short-list of major research facilities which are to be considered for $155 million in Commonwealth funding, the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin, announced today. 29 June 2001

29 June 2001             01/294


Eleven proposals involving Queensland are amongst a short-list of major research facilities which are to be considered for $155 million in Commonwealth funding, the Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin, announced today.

Announced as part of Backing Australia’s Ability, the Major National Research Facilities Program received 86 applications for funding from across Australia, in the fields of biotechnology, IT, engineering, and physical and chemical sciences.

Following assessment by an expert panel, five proposals headquartered in Queensland together with six projects with research nodes in Queensland have been selected for interview, with a final decision on the successful applicants to be announced in August.

The proposals include applications for facilities in Brisbane, Townsville and several islands off Queensland.

“The Major National Research Facilities Program is about identifying the scientific infrastructure that Australia needs to build leading edge research capabilities,” Senator Minchin said.

“The standard of proposals for funding from Queensland was excellent.  Unfortunately some very good proposals have not been short-listed, due to the high quality of many of the applications.

“My Department will assist unsuccessful applicants investigate whether alternative funding, both public or private, could be available to make their projects a reality.

The Queensland proposal for a synchrotron has been short-listed, together with synchrotron proposals from Victoria and New South Wales.

“Given the Victorian Government’s announcement that it believes it can construct a synchrotron without MNRF funding, I have asked my advisory committee to assess the Victorian claim in more detail and advise me on the implications for the other synchrotron proponents.  All three synchrotron proponents will be asked to attend the next interview stage.

“Contrary to Mr Beattie’s ongoing false claims, the Commonwealth Government has not made any deals with Victoria to contribute to the capital or running costs of their synchrotron proposal.  We will continue to assess the Queensland proposal on its merits.

“While our Government is getting on with delivering policies to build Queensland’s research base, Kim Beazley mouths the empty rhetoric of Knowledge Nation but still has no innovation policy.

“A report Kim Beazley released last fortnight admitted that Labor left Australia in 1995 with the second worst record for

investment in knowledge amongst 12 leading OECD nations.

“Labor ignored science for 13 years - no amount of Knowledge Nation rhetoric can disguise it,” Senator Minchin concluded.

A list of short-listed applicants, with descriptions and contact details is attached.  For more information on the MNRF Program and other Commonwealth innovation initiatives, visit the AusIndustry website at

Contact:  Jennifer Eddy, Senator Minchin’s office, 02 6277 7580

Colin Hickey, AusIndustry, 02 6213 6432



Headquarters in QLD

Title of Proposal Facility

Location Contact Title Contact Phone Number Summary

1009 Upgrade of Capability of the Australian Genome Research Facility & Development of Australian Genome Program

Brisbane Dr Susan Forrest 0393452449 With nodes in Brisbane and Melbourne supports leading edge biotechnology research in DNA sequencing and genotyping.

1049 Australian Centre for Computational Earth Systems Simulations (ACCESS)

St Lucia Professor Peter Mora 07 3365 2128 Provide a computational virtual earth facility

providing a focal point for earth systems simulation  capability areas such as mining exploration.

1052 Boomerang - The Australian Light Source Brisbane Mr Stuart Booker 07 3225 4645 Develop world-class synchrotron facility in

Australia for industry & scientific clusters to encourage collaborative research across a wide range of application areas. (Queensland proposal)

1069 Northern Aust National Biological Resources Protection Facility

Brisbane Dr John Cullen 02 6246 4025 Permit research aimed at protecting Australia's agriculture & natural

environment. Rapid identification & diagnosis of new incursion of pests & diseases.

1082 Tropical Island Research Network (TIRN) Townsville Professor T. Norman Palmer

07 4781 6884 Provides a cost effective infrastructure for research in the tropical & sub tropical environments, incorporating the Great Barrier Reef, with benefits to the tourism and fisheries industry.

Nodes in QLD

Title of Proposal HQ Contact Title Contact

Phone Number


1044 National Facility for Integrated Research on Catchment Restoration NSW Professor Alistair


02 6933 2927 Aims to provide Australia's first facility for long term studies of the responses of river catchments to interventions in land and water management, climate variability, and particularly extreme, episodic disturbances.

1050 ANBIF - Australian National Biological Informatic Facility NSW Dr Tim Littlejohn

02 9351 8617 A large scale bioformatic database accessible to the broad Australian research community.

1054 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectrometer Grid NSW Professor David Siddle

02 9351 4138 With nodes in  Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane aims to provide NMR Spectrometry for medical research.

1068 Australian Collection Network for Plant Protection and Quarantine Research

ACT Dr Rob Floyd 02 6246 4089 Addresses the national interest to identifying plant pathogens;  strong in management terms; network collection of agriculturally important insects for research.

1076 Nanostructural Analysis Network Organisation (NANO) NSW Associate Professor

Simon Ringer

02 9351 2351 A multi node national facility to establish linkages for resource sharing a national grid in microscopy and microanalysis.

1078 Australian GeneBank Network NSW Professor David Handelsman

02 9767 9100 Would provide a national 'mousehouse' to support genomics and conservation of biodiversity.

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