THE Far North community is set to benefit greatly from a share of the Australian Government’s $25.5 million investment in the Tropical Health Research and Training facility at James Cook University (JCU).
The investment forms the bulk of the Government’s $42 million election commitment for the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM), with Member for Leichhardt, the Hon Warren Entsch MP, today welcoming the news.
“The delivery of this funding is great news for the people of Cairns and the Torres Strait because it will support research in virology and disease control as well as helping develop new treatments and vaccines for tropical diseases,” Mr Entsch said.
“It’s further evidence of the importance that the Australian Government places on cutting-edge research, particularly in this vital area of tropical health and medicine.
“Cairns and the Torres Strait will receive a share of the $25 million that will fund not only a new building and laboratories, but will also enable extra research staff to come on board. Our region will have a new, world-class research capability.”
Minister for Education the Hon Christopher Pyne MP said tropical diseases such as dengue fever and other emerging infectious diseases are on the rise and pose a considerable threat to Australians living in the north.
“The tropical region, which includes Northern Australia, accounts for more than 40 per cent of the world’s population. This is projected to rise to 50 per cent by 2050,” Mr Pyne said.
“Australian research that can help meet the growing demand for protection against tropical diseases can help to create jobs for Australians and better lives for those to our north.
“The Australian Government’s $42 million investment matches the funding commitment made by the Queensland Government.”
In addition to the $25.5 million for the Tropical Health Research and Training facility, the Australian Government’s $42 million commitment includes:
· $10 million to fund a Translational Research Centre at JCU Townsville
· $5 million to fund Network and general operating activities.
· $1.5 million to fund an Occupational Health Research Centre in Mackay
The funding has been made available by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council (ARC).
More information about the funding for this project is available from the ARC website.