Research facility to be built on Thursday Island

Published Wednesday, 11 June, 2014 at 11:21 AM


Treasurer and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Tim Nicholls

Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts
The Honourable Ian Walker

Queenslanders will benefit from a world-class research facility based on Thursday Island that will revitalise frontline services by reducing the costs of treating people suffering from diseases such as Dengue, hook worm, bacterial sepsis, malaria and tuberculosis.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls announced the facility would be one of the sites for the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine enabling a creative, connected and clever Queensland.

“The 2014-15 State Budget continues to deliver a strong plan for a brighter future for Queensland, with a $14.3 million commitment towards establishing the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine this year,” Mr Nicholls said.

 “Overall, we have committed $42.12 million to establish these three facilities in North and Far North Queensland – a figure the Federal Government matched, bringing total investment in the region to a significant $84 million.

 “This level of investment creates jobs in the construction sector, one of the four pillars of our economy, and provides ongoing opportunities for scientists in important tropical health and medical research.”

Science Minister Ian Walker said the Thursday Island facility, including a specialist laboratory and biological facilities will put Queensland at the forefront of the scientific community.

“Thursday Island will now join Townsville and Cairns to have a research and training facility for the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine,” Mr Walker said.

“This institute will work alongside James Cook University and boasts features that will provide Queensland with world class facilities and assist in the fight against tropical disease.”

Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine Director Professor Louis Schofield said the Institute’s research and training program provides vital support for the research of infectious and chronic diseases.

“The new Institute facilities in Cairns, Townsville and Thursday Island will specialise in infectious and chronic diseases research and the development of new treatments and vaccines for tropical diseases as well as provide training in virology, disease and vector control,” Mr Schofield said.

“They will assist clinical trials, tele-health and translational research and training to aid international infectious and chronic disease efforts and support research and strategies to enhance workplace safety in key regional industries.”

[ENDS] 11 June 2014

Media Contact: Treasurer – Anna Hilton 0408 191 192

Minister Walker – Monica Rostron 0409 126 332