18 October 2000

The University of Queensland's stunning new $2.6 million world class marine research station on North Stradbroke Island will hold its first public open day on October 29.

The free open day from 10am to 5pm will be at the Moreton Bay Research Station and Study Centre, on the corner of Flinders Avenue and Frazer Street at Dunwich.

Station manager Kathy Townsend said the University would put out the welcome mat to the local community, high school teachers and students, families with children, researchers (both government and university) and anyone with an interest in natural history.

"We'd like to create an awareness of this wonderful new facility and to increase communication between the community and researchers," she said.

"There'll be guided tours of the station, talks by UQ researchers, a sausage sizzle, static displays and interactive activities such as a touch tank with marine creatures.

"Visitors can check out plankton under a microscope, or undertake guided reef walks. We recommend that they wear old sturdy shoes that they don't mind getting wet and muddy if they undertake this activity."

Ms Townsend said the theme of the talks and the open day was Research in Moreton Bay - Understanding for Sustainability.

The new station, opened earlier this year by UQ Vice-Chancellor Professor John Hay and Premier Peter Beattie, allows scientists and students to stay on the island and study a fascinating range of coastal marine flora and fauna using high quality research facilities.

It is an important part of the University's focus on marine facilities, which includes research stations at Low Isles and Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

The Moreton Bay Research Station and Study Centre comprises three, two-level buildings providing accommodation, research laboratories and an undergraduate and high school teaching area. A research and teaching aquarium will be completed later this year.

The new facility replaces an old research station first built by the CSIRO on North Stradbroke Island in 1949, and run by The University of Queensland since 1959.

The project has been funded by The University of Queensland, the Port of Brisbane Corporation, Consolidated Rutile Limited (CRL), The Federal Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs and the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron.

Although the open day is free, visitors from the mainland will need to meet their own transport costs. The Stradbroke water taxi and Stradbroke car ferry (both telephone 3286 2666) and the Stradbroke Flyer (telephone 3286 1964) all depart from Middle Street, Cleveland, while the island transport car ferry (telephone 3829 0008) leaves from corner Weinham and Banana Streets at Redland Bay.

Media: Further information, Kathy Townsend, telephone (07) 3409 9058 or email: communications@mailbox.uq.edu.au