22 November 2011
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, today congratulated the two agriculture-related Cooperative Research Centres chosen to share in $148 million of Government funding.
The Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) and Plant Biosecurity CRC are two of six successful applicants who will share in this competitive CRC funding round.
“This is fantastic news for both of the CRCs and Australia’s agriculture sector as a whole,” Minister Ludwig said.
“These CRCs will now undertake important research focussed on tackling pest animal and plant incursions and protecting Australia from the risks that these incursions present.
“The Gillard Government is committed to supporting rural research. We recognise its important contribution to the productivity, sustainability and international competitiveness of Australia’s primary industries.”
Invasive Animals Cooperative Research Centre (IACRC) Chief Executive Andreas Glanznig said the new Invasive Animals CRC includes a major focus on transforming Australia’s approach to rabbit and wild dog control.
“These pests cost farmers $250 million a year in lost production and control costs,” Mr Glanznig said.
“The IACRC will also work to develop a new community engagement program to build the capability of land managers and regional groups, and a new potential biocontrol agent that will revolutionise carp control in the Murray-Darling Basin.
“This CRC is set to make a huge difference. That is why we have received increased investment by three agricultural Research and Development Corporations (Australian Wool Innovation, Meat and Livestock Australia and the Grains Research and Development Corporation), and gained the support of every affected national and state farmer group in the country.”
Dr Simon McKirdy of the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre (PBCRC) said growth in global trade, travel and tourism means Australia’s plant industries face ever-increasing biosecurity threats from devastating exotic plant pests.
“This additional funding will allow us to develop and deploy the knowledge and tools to help safeguard Australia’s $14 billion plant industries exports,” Dr McKirdy said.
“It will also assist us to investigate ways to protect food security and the sustainability of our regional communities.”
The IACRC will receive $19.7 million in funding and the PBCRC will receive $29.7 million.
CRC program funding: $19.7 million
The Invasive Animals CRC will transform pest animal control and reduce their impacts by developing: new detection and forecasting knowledge and technologies to underpin national and regional incursion response systems and strategies that aim to minimise invasion by new and existing pest animals; new biocontrol agents, platform technologies and disease models for long term strategic control of rabbits and carp, combined with new national rabbit and wild dog co-management approaches, to enable recovery of landscapes and inland waters; new institutional and social knowledge to enable long term community-based pest animal management; new humane control technologies (particularly for rodents), and fertility control options for macropods and wild horses; and enhanced capability and capacity of the industry and end-users through new, highly-trained and informed researchers, program leaders and land managers.
CRC program funding: $29.7 million
The Plant Biosecurity CRC will develop and deploy knowledge and tools to provide the scientific support essential for safeguarding Australia from the economic, environmental and social consequences of damaging plant pest incursions. Its research will include: new risk assessment and early warning systems to support planning and preparation; more effective, less costly ways to detect and defeat new incursions quickly; technology and advice to safeguard Australia’s plant based exports; and better engagement with the Australian community, government and industry to raise national awareness and defences against exotic plant pests.
The CRC program is an Australian Government Initiative. More information about CRCs is available at on their website.