23 January 2009

University of Queensland researchers will participate in a new $60 million National Centre for Groundwater Research and Training announced by the Rudd Government.

Minister for Climate Change and Water, Senator Penny Wong, and Minister for Innovation and Research, Senator Kim Carr, said the new centre, led by Flinders University, was an important investment in helping secure Australia’s future water supplies.

The UQ component of the research will be led by Chair in Hydrology, Professor David Lockington, whose team will focus on the groundwater dynamics and biogeochemistry of key coastal environments from local to regional scales.

Other key UQ investigators will be Professor Ling Li, Associate Professor Catherine Lovelock, and Associate Professor Massimo Gasparon.

“Australia's extensive coastline has an incredibly diverse range of terrestrial and shallow water conditions and habitats, which are home to complex and sensitive ecosystems of rich biodiversity, and are subject to major development pressure as well as climate change impacts,” Professor Lockington said.

The $60 million centre has $30 million joint funding from the Australian Research Council and the National Water Commission, with $30 million in additional contributions from the 20 organisations involved. Partners include the University of New South Wales, the Australian National University, CSIRO, Geoscience Australia, and the governments of NSW and South Australia.

UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor David Siddle welcomed the Australian Government’s recognition of the importance of groundwater research, and said UQ’s inclusion in the successful bid reflected on its high quality research into the coastal/marine interface.

Media: Jan King 07 3365 1120