6 December 1999

UQ/CSIRO to implement a series of Environmental Management Plans at IMB site

The University of Queensland and CSIRO will implement a series of Environmental Management Plans designed to minimise disruption to the local community as a result of an Environmental Assessment Report from consultants, Dames & Moore.

The Report, which is available on request from the University, was produced as part of the ongoing design and planning process for the Institute for Molecular Bioscience.

It identifies a series of issues during both the construction and operations phases of the Institute, concludes that implementation of environmental management strategies will help ensure the project is successfully managed with minimal environmental impact.

The report also pointed to a traffic study by consultants Connell Wagner which concluded that the volume of traffic along Carmody Road would not increase once the Institute was operational.

Key environmental management strategies include:

? Implementation of a stormwater management plan
? Development and implementation of a waste management plan
? Installation of noise minimisation strategies
? Maintenance of the buffer zone area along Carmody Road and along the western boundary of the site
? Use of the University of Queensland chemical waste system for the transport and disposal of chemical wastes
? Installation of carbon filter air emission scrubbing units on strategic fume cupboards, particularly in the chemistry laboratories
? Upgrading of Carmody Road

University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hay said a project of the nature, size and complexity of the Institute required careful and stringent environmental management during both the construction and operation phases.

"The University of Queensland and CSIRO are committed to ensuring that the environmental management plans are fully implemented so the local community can be assured that everything is being done to minimise any possible impacts," he said.

"The scientific research work to be carried out at the Institute is already being done in laboratories throughout the University. The Institute will allow all these activities to be carried out under one roof.

"While the University already complies with strict standards of control for chemicals and other material used in research, a new state-of-the-art facility will allow these high standards to be improved through use of the latest design and technology."

Professor Hay pointed to the maintenance of the green buffer along Carmody Road, which features several tall Hoop Pine trees, as one example of how minimising visual impacts of the building had been designed into the project's planning.

Research projects of the IMB include genomics, developmental biology, cell biology, structural biology, chemistry and bioinformatics. Examples of this work include the study of diseases such as cystic fibrosis, diabetes and skin and childhood cancer.

Construction is expected to commence mid-late 2000 with the Institute due to open two years later.

The release of the report follows a Community Information Update on December 4 where the local community was able to quiz scientists and construction managers about the project and the announcement of the establishment of a Community Liaison Committee comprising local community representatives.

For further information:

Meredith Jackson
Marketing and Communications
The University of Queensland
Ph. (07) 3365 6060