Alan Carpenter

Alan Carpenter

Premier; Minister for Federal-State Relations; Trade; Innovation; Science; Public Sector Management

    Centre of Excellence to help environment

    22/10/2003 1:50 PM
     
    22/10/03

    Western Australia’s environment will be the big winner from the State Government’s $28million Centres of Excellence in Science and Innovation program.

    Education and Training Minister Alan Carpenter, representing the Premier and Minister for Science, Geoff Gallop, officially launched the Centre of Excellence in Applied Organic Geochemistry at Curtin University of Technology today.

    The centre, a joint venture between Curtin and the University of Western Australia, received more than $1.2million from the Centres of Excellence in Science and Innovation program, which aims to encourage opportunities to expand and enhance WA's science and innovation capability and performance.

    “The Centre of Excellence will provide outstanding and exciting research opportunities in areas of great importance to the WA community,” Mr Carpenter said.

    “Specifically, the centre will build on our research capacity in the environmental and petroleum industries, as well as the fields of agriculture and natural products.”

    The Minister said the joint venture was an outstanding collaboration between the higher education sector, Government and industry.

    “Curtin and the University of WA, together with the State Government and industry, have forged an invaluable partnership, which will bring wide-ranging benefits to the broader WA community,” he said.

    Mr Carpenter said research undertaken at the centre would provide direct benefits to the State such as:
    • improved drinking water quality through improved treatment processes;
    • increased environmental management of the State’s water resources through study of catchment water and soil chemistry;
    • improved plant yields and water use with positive benefits for landscape salinity;
    • improved management of polluted land and water systems; and
    • increased efficiency of petroleum exploration and production.
    Mr Carpenter said Curtin was granted $1.219million to refurbish laboratory space, purchase equipment and employ new senior research personnel for the Centre.

    “Woodside Energy Ltd and Water Corporation are also significant contributors of financial or in-kind support,” he said.

    Other contributors and supporters include:
    • Agriculture Western Australia;
    • Department of Conservation and Land Management;
    • Water and Rivers Commission;
    • The Oil Mallee Company of Australia Ltd; and
    • CSIRO Petroleum.
    Mr Carpenter said the Gallop Government, through its $50million Innovate WA strategy, recognised the vital role science and innovation played in the State’s economic development.

    “Our Innovate WA strategy, together with a range of diverse initiatives, is helping to strengthen and improve the educational and research capacity of the State,” he said.

    “We are investing heavily in scientific excellence and innovation to increase opportunities for WA in the modern economy.

    “We have increased the annual investment for the Centres of Excellence in Science and Innovation program from $3.4million to a base of $7million per year.

    “We have also introduced a diverse range of initiatives to tackle our need to build upon our most valuable resource, our well-educated community.”

    These initiatives include:
    • the establishment last year of the Office of Science and Innovation as part of the Department of The Premier and Cabinet;
    • the establishment of the Premier’s Science Council;
    • the introduction of the Premier’s Science Awards;
    • a $3.6million initiative to reimburse the HECS fees of science students who take up teaching; and
    • $1.8million to the Premier’s Collaborative Research Grants program and $2million to the Premier’s Research Fellowships to attract leading researchers to WA.
    Minister's office: 9213 6800