Australian government invests $30 million in groundwater research and training

Posted 16 November 2007

The Minister for Environment and Water Resources, Malcolm Turnbull, and the Minister for Education, Science and Training, Julie Bishop, said the Centre will be funded jointly by the National Water Commission and the Australian Research Council, which would each provide $15 million over five years to the project.

"No other Government has invested more than the Coalition in managing our precious natural resources and protecting the environment," Mr Turnbull said.

"This initiative complements and underpins previous commitments to improve water use and management - the $10 billion National Plan for Water Security and the $50 million Groundwater Assessment Initiative.

"The Centre for Groundwater Resource and Training will build knowledge and skills in a new generation of groundwater scientists in order to improve the way we manage groundwater.

"The Centre is part of a comprehensive strategy to revolutionise the way water is used and managed in Australia - in the country and in our urban centres.

"Through the Water Smart Australia programme, the Coalition Government has invested more than $1.5 billion in transformative infrastructure projects that have improved the management of morethan 1700 gigalitres of water.

"This Centre will train the water managers of the future and support research that will underpin water policy to ensure that Australia remains at the forefront of water resource management.

Minister Bishop said that it was vital for Australia's future that we continue to build strong professional capability in this important area of science, engineering and management.

"The outcomes of the Centre's research will inform responses to critical administrative and policy concerns, including resource assessment, over allocation and salinity, and provide high-quality training to our future hydrogeologists, groundwater engineers and managers," Minister Bishop said.

The Centre for Groundwater Research and Training will be housed at a university, or shared between two or three locations presenting an opportunity for universities to combine expertise.

The process for selecting the Centre will be competitive and based on the quality of the proposals received and their contribution to the Groundwater Action Plan. It is anticipated that the Centre will begin operating by mid-2008.

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