New Era For Marine Research In The Northern Territory

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9th November 2009, 11:30am - Views: 1158

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Understanding of the north’s rich tropical marine endowment will be enhanced today following the signing of a landmark

Memorandum of Understanding between Charles Darwin University, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, The

Australian National University and the Northern Territory Government. 

The Memorandum details a framework of cooperative research, academic and training activities, and expanded research

infrastructure, helping to ensure sustainable and community-friendly development of tropical marine resources.

Announcing the agreement, the Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr said: 

“This is an innovative partnership which will provide real benefit to northern Australia.”

“The MoU is a milestone agreement that unites the research efforts of three distinct institutions and the Northern Territory

Government.  By combining their efforts these organisations will be able to focus their attention on critical issues like sustainable

development, protecting biodiversity, and mitigating the impact of climate change.”

The Australian Government’s Super Science Marine and Climate initiative includes $387.7 million for marine research and climate

change research, including $55 million for tropical marine science infrastructure at AIMS.

“This includes $5.5 million for the Arafura Timor Research Facility – an investment that will provide new infrastructure and provide

some of the tools needed to fill knowledge gaps,” Senator Carr said.

“Australia has the third largest ocean territory in the world, but too little is known about Australia’s marine estate and this new

partnership will help close that gap. 

“The Australian Government has made marine science one of the nation’s innovation priorities for the next decade,” Senator Carr


The CEO of the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Dr Ian Poiner, speaking on behalf of the memorandum parties, said it

was critical to work together to understand the unique ecosystems of the Arafura and Timor Seas.

“This memorandum of understanding between the Australian Institute of Marine Science, Charles Darwin University, The

Australian National University and the Northern Territory Government is about demonstrating the links and connections

between organisations, levels of government and communities,” Dr Poiner said.

Northern Territory Environment Minister Karl Hampton today welcomed the $5.5 million in extra funding.

“The Territory Government continues to build and strengthen partnerships to support vital research that benefits all

Territorians,” Mr Hampton said.

Under the MOU the following programs and activities will be encouraged:

Appointment of appropriate AIMS and NTG staff to adjunct academic positions at CDU and/or ANU

Appointment of appropriate CDU, ANU and NTG staff to adjunct research positions at AIMS

Cooperative and collaborative research activities

Access to research infrastructure and equipment

Funding of joint appointments of research staff

Joint research training activities including the funding of scholarships for Higher Degree by Research students

Joint supervision of Higher Degree by Research students.

Media Contacts:

Jackie Levett, Minister Carr’s office, 0451 550 007

Dr Ian Poiner, AIMS CEO, 0419 702 652;

Professor Barney Glover, CDU Vice-Chancellor; 0439 675 567

Dr David Parry, AIMS Science Leader, Darwin, 0419 820 724; 08 8920 9240;

Wendy Ellery, AIMS media liaison, 0418 729 265;

Robyn McDougall, CDU media manager, 0439 675 567;

Martyn Pearce, Media Officer, The Australian National University, 02 6125 5575; 0416 249 245;

Edwin Edlund,  Media Advisor to  Minister Hampton, 0401119563.

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