[ASC-media] MEDIA RELEASE: Research attracts biosecurity dollars to
c.lange1 at uq.edu.au
Tue Aug 24 14:38:36 EST 2004
Embargoed to Wednesday 25 August 2004
Research attracts biosecurity dollars to WA
Implantable chips and hand-held devices to detect disease, and satellite
information systems for predicting disease outbreaks are amongst the
technologies that will be developed by the Australian Biosecurity Cooperative
Research Centre (AB-CRC).
The Hon Kim Chance MLA, Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, today
launched the Centres major research node in Perth. Curtin University of
Technology, the Department of Agriculture-WA, Murdoch University and PathCentre
are the WA-based partners in the Centre, which brings together five
universities, eight federal and state government agencies, and six industry
groups nationally, and three international organisations. The Centre also
receives financial support from the Western Australian Government through the
Department of Industry & Technology.
It is anticipated that over the next seven years the Centre will attract more
than $8 million in external funding into Western Australia for new
collaborative and multidisciplinary research and education programs. This
funding will provide a major boost to the States capacity to protect against
the entry, establishment and spread of emerging infectious disease threats such
as foot-and-mouth disease, SARS and avian flu.
The partners will combine their resources and expertise, integrating the latest
diagnostic, computer and satellite technologies to develop specialised early
warning systems for the rapid detection and response to disease outbreaks.
These technologies will be developed and implemented alongside new education
and training initiatives.
CEO of the Australian Bioscecurity CRC, Dr Stephen Prowse said that in the
future farmers at remote locations in Australia would be able to use hand-held
devices to monitor and report disease. The device would also relay the
diagnostic information to a government veterinarian, who can then take
immediate action to contain a disease outbreak.
Western Australias partnership in this Centre is integral to our goal to
counter the threat of emerging infectious diseases to Australia by
strengthening the national response capability, Dr Prowse said.
The spread of new infectious diseases into Australia, through the movement of
people and animals, viruses jumping from animals to humans, or even
bioterrorism, is an increasing risk, according to Dr Prowse.
The global SARS epidemic is a perfect example of the far-reaching impacts of
newly emerging diseases.
Experts within the AB-CRC, including Professor Aileen Plant and Professor John
Mackenzie, both based with Curtin, have been involved in the global response to
the SARS outbreak, under the auspices of the World Health Organization, he
Partners in the Australian Biosecurity CRC are Animal Health Australia,
Australian Animal Health Laboratory (CSIRO Livestock Industries), Australian
Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Australian Pork
Limited, AusVet Animal Health Services, Curtin University of Technology, James
Cook University, Murdoch University, University of Queensland, University of
Sydney, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Queensland
Health Department, Western Australian Centre for Pathology and Medical Research
(PathCentre), and the Western Australian Department of Agriculture.
Associate and international partners are AGEN Biomedical Ltd, Commonwealth
Department of Health and Ageing, Meat & Livestock Australia, Northern Territory
Department of Business, Industry and Resource Development, PANBIO Ltd,
Consortium for Conservation Medicine (USA), National Center for Foreign Animal
Diseases (Canada), and OIE South-East Asian Foot-and-Mouth Disease Campaign,
Regional Coordinating Unit (Thailand).
The Australian Biosecurity CRC is one of 30 new CRCs announced in 2002 by the
Federal Government. The total resources of the Centre will be more than
$60million over 7 years. The Centre has major research nodes in Brisbane,
Geelong, Sydney and Perth, and partners in Bangkok, New York and Winnipeg.
Dr Stephen Prowse
CEO, Australian Biosecurity CRC
Mobile: 0419 371 134
Email: stephen.prowse at abcrc.org.au
For assistance with arranging interviews:
Communications Officer, Australian Biosecurity CRC
Mobile: 0423 752 198
Email: corinna.lange at abcrc.org.au
Australian Biosecurity CRC for Emerging Infectious Disease
Building 76 Molecular Bioscience
The University of Queensland
St Lucia QLD 4072
Phone +61 (0)7 3346 8864
Mobile 0423 782 198
Fax +61 (0)7 3346 8862
Email corinna.lange at abcrc.org.au
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