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    Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    “Last” Tree of Knowledge finds home at Ecosciences Precinct

    Premier and Minister for Reconstruction
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Sunday, November 27, 2011

    “Last” Tree of Knowledge finds home at Ecosciences Precinct

    Premier Anna Bligh today planted the last remaining clone of the Tree of Knowledge at the Ecosciences Precinct at Boggo Road.

    “It is Queensland science that managed to clone a 200-year-old tree and thus preserve a genuine icon of this State,” Ms Bligh said.

    “It is fitting then that the legendary ghost gum finds a home here at the Ecosciences Precinct where over 1000 scientists, researchers and support staff are based.

    “It is a Labor Government that helped deliver this $270 million research facility

    “It is a Labor Government that also has a vision to take the wealth from the earth and use it to train the minds of our children.

    “We estimate $1.8 billion from LNG royalties over the next 10 years alone will flow into the Queensland Education Trust.

    “Some of the kids who benefit from the Trust will come to work right here – helping to solve some of the most important environmental issues of our times.

    “Watching over them will be the Tree of Knowledge clone which is testament to Queensland ingenuity and innovation,” Ms Bligh said.

    The original Tree of Knowledge in Barcaldine was the meeting place for shearers during the Great Shearers Strike of 1891 – an event that led the creation of the Australian Labor Party.

    In 1991 a root sucker was taken from the original tree and the “young un” as it became known was raised and continues to thrive in its new home at the Australian Workers Heritage Centre.

    From the “young un” cuttings were taken for use in a rejuvenation process through serial grafting that enabled clones to be developed. Most have been sent to Barcaldine.

    In 2006 the original tree was poisoned and the culprits never found. The seven-metre high trunk and branches were specially preserved and turned into a tourist attraction in Barcaldine.

    “It doesn’t matter what side of politics you support or how you vote the Tree of Knowledge is an important part of the local history of Western Queensland and the political history of our nation,” Ms Bligh said.

    “Cloning the tree is part of preserving our history,” she said.

    DEEDI senior research officer (propagation) John Oostenbrink, who has worked on the cloning project for over a decade, was pleased with today’s planting ceremony.

    “I had always hoped the last clone of the Tree of Knowledge would be planted at the Ecoscience precinct because of its link to science,” he said.

    The Ecoscience Precinct has the largest group of scientists and researchers working in Ecoscience ever assembled in Australia.

    Media: 3224 4500