The Queensland Government has announced the opening of a new world-class research facility on Thursday Island that is set to help the state fight tropical diseases and reduce the costs of treatments for people suffering from Dengue, hook worm, bacterial sepsis, malaria and tuberculosis.
“The 2014–15 State Budget continues to deliver a strong plan for a brighter future for Queensland, with a $14.3 million commitment towards establishing the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine this year,” said Treasurer and Minister for Trade, The Honourable Tim Nicholls in a statement.
“Overall, we have committed $42.12 million to establish these three facilities in North and Far North Queensland — a figure the Federal Government matched, bringing total investment in the region to a significant $84 million. This level of investment creates jobs in the construction sector, one of the four pillars of our economy, and provides ongoing opportunities for scientists in important tropical health and medical research.”
Aside from generating jobs and improving the lives of many, the facility will also contribute greatly to Queensland’s reputation as a science and research hub, putting the state at the forefront of the Australian scientific community.
“Thursday Island will now join Townsville and Cairns to have a research and training facility for the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine. This institute will work alongside James Cook University and boasts features that will provide Queensland with world class facilities and assist in the fight against tropical disease,” said Science Minister Ian Walker.
“The new Institute facilities in Cairns, Townsville and Thursday Island will specialise in infectious and chronic diseases research and the development of new treatments and vaccines for tropical diseases as well as provide training in virology, disease and vector control. They will assist clinical trials, tele-health and translational research and training to aid international infectious and chronic disease efforts and support research and strategies to enhance workplace safety in key regional industries,” said Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine Director Professor Louis Schofield.