Northern-based LNP Senator Ian Macdonald has welcomed the establishment of the new $75 million Northern Australia Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) committed in the Coalition’s Northern Australia Whitepaper and in its last election policy.
Senator Macdonald said the announcement by Science Minister Christopher Pyne today was positive news not only for Townsville, but also for the whole of Northern Australia.
“Townsville has been named as the administrative base for the CRC, but the CRC will operate across the North providing funding and collaboration to science and research involving the development of Northern Australia,” Senator Macdonald said.
“Townsville is ideally positioned as a central point for those universities and research institutions across the North whose scientific and research expertise will be important in the getting the right base for moving forward.”
Senator Macdonald said the purpose of the Northern Australia CRC is to identify and fund opportunities where collaborative research can deliver real outcomes to benefit industries and development across the North.
“The Coalition Government has a very clear agenda for developing Northern Australia, a plan that is not only funded, but one that is focussed on utilising the wealth of knowledge and expertise that already exists in the North.”
Senator Macdonald said today’s news follows the passing through the House of Representatives this week, of legislation to fund the $5billion Loan Infrastructure Facility.
“The administrative base for that operation will be in Cairns and the Office of Northern Australia is in Darwin, so the three major cities in the tropic zone will all play a part in administering the exciting developments already happening in the North.
“Every day this Government’s vision for development of Northern Australia, which I have been fighting for since I entered Parliament, is another step closer to reality.
“This is in stark contrast to the Labor Party, who clearly have no plan, no policy and frankly, no interest in Northern Australia.
“In fact, Labor have dumped their only North Queensland based Senator, Jan McLucas, in favour of a Brisbane-based union hack.
“Not only have they failed to deliver for the North, they clear have no intention of even attempting to represent the interests of Queenslanders who live outside the state’s south-east.”