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$35m to save reef and rainforest.

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Senator Kim Carr

Labor Senator for Victoria Shadow Minister for Industry, Innovation, Science & Research Anita Phillips ALP candidate for Herbert


$35m to save reef and rainforest

Labor will establish a $35m Centre of Excellence in Tropical Research to secure the future of the two Australian icons, the Great Barrier Reef and North Queensland's tropical rainforest.

The future health of research into the reef and rainforest has been in doubt since the Howard Government defunded the research centres that maintained these fragile treasures earlier this year.

The Howard Government cut public interest research out of the grant criteria, leaving the reef and rainforest CRCs stranded.

Funding certainly is needed now for reef and rainforest research. Without Labor's new Centre of Excellence wind-up proceedings will commence before the end of the year for both centres. Already leading researchers are being lured overseas.

Labor is confident that today's announcement will guarantee the future of critical reef and rainforest research in Australia.

Labor will be providing $15 million for research into the rainforests and a further $20 million for reef research (both over 5 years).

Labor will be seeking to ensure that the original public and private partners rejoin the projects, bringing with them more researchers and resources. Partners in the reef research bid included AIMS, the ANU, CSIRO, the National Oceans Office, Charles Darwin University and private sector partners.

Under the scheme reef research will extend off the north-west coast, into the Timor and Arafura seas.

A Latham Labor Government will not sit back and allow this Government's meanness to trash our national icons.

A Latham Labor Government will save Queensland's reef and rainforest for future generations.

Further information: Kim Carr 0419 563 922, Catriona Jackson, 0417 142 238, Anthony Chisholm, 0409 844 777.

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