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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    State Govt chips in for dinosaur dig project

    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Sunday, November 01, 2009

    State Govt chips in for dinosaur dig project


    Plevna Downs could be the latest site in Western Queensland to capitalise on worldwide interest in Australia’s prehistoric past.

    Premier Anna Bligh today announced $100,000 in funding to help develop a new dinosaur attraction at Plevna Downs, near Eromanga.

    “The funding will be used by the South West Regional Economic Development Association (SWRED) to develop a formal business and marketing plan for a Natural History Field Museum,” she said.

    “A study into the proposed dinosaur attraction has been completed by local stakeholders with positive results.

    “This funding will assist the region to attract the necessary corporate and philanthropic support needed to make the field museum a reality.

    “Scientists and archaeologists are discovering the secrets of Australia’s prehistoric past and a field museum would help the local community to capitalise on growing international interest.

    “Millions of years ago the arid area around Plevna Downs was actually an inland sea and provided a home to a number of dinosaur species.

    “Earlier this year on ANZAC Day the remains of a large plant eating sauropod nicknamed Zac were found.

    “Scientists believe Zac is 97 million years old, about 16 metres long and would’ve weighed about 6 tonnes.

    The Premier said Western Queensland was internationally renowned as Australia’s dinosaur hub.

    “Zac was found close to where the remains of Cooper, Australia’s largest known dinosaur, were found in 2004,” he said.

    “With recent discoveries of dinosaur tracks and other fossil material in the area there are enormous research opportunities emerging for scientists, science students and university staff.

    “The Queensland Museum is involved in the dig and they’re excited about what researchers are finding.

    “Currently there are eleven excavation sites on the property, which presents an opportunity for the tourism sector to capitalise on the discovery of ancient animals like Zac and Cooper.

    “In July as part of Queensland’s Q150 celebrations I opened the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History at Winton.

    “I also announced three new dinosaur finds – Matilda, Banjo and Clancy, which were discovered at a sight near Winton.

    “The Winton museum supported 14 jobs during construction and employs three full time staff.

    “It is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the region which will help the local economy.

    “Plevna Downs could become part of a wider Western Queensland and Australian dinosaur trail which could encompass other areas such as Lighting Ridge, Hughenden and Richmond.”

    Ms Bligh said field museum was expected to store, showcase and demonstrate the region’s unique paleo-scientific finds.

    “It will also provide a scientific workspace for palaeontologist to process bones and other fossils for display,” she said.

    “This would be a hands-on facility of international significance and could offer important economic growth opportunities for the region.”

    Funding for the study was provided under the State Government’s Queensland Regional Development Initiative which supports regional development organisations to deliver significant economic projects across the State.

    Media: Matt Watson 3239 3120