$42 million for tropical health and medicine research in northern Australia

Media Release
  • Minister for Education
  • Leader of the House

The Federal Coalition Government will invest $42 million in ground breaking tropical health and medicine research to be conducted by James Cook University (JCU), delivering on an election commitment to  communities in northern Australia.

Minister for Education, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, said the investment is evidence of the value the Australian Government puts on Australia being at the cutting edge of research, particularly in this important area of tropical health and medicine.

“Tropical diseases such as dengue fever and other emerging infectious diseases are on the rise and pose a considerable threat to Australians living in the north,” Mr Pyne said.

“The investment we make will help boost Australian research and help protect more Australians against these and other diseases.

“This $42 million (over four years) will provide vital funding to expand the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine.

“James Cook University is extremely well-placed to be a leader in this type of research for the nation and the world.

“This funding will also help Australia to be an even better neighbour in our region, with research that could benefit people in countries including PNG and Indonesia.

“The tropical region, which includes Northern Australia, accounts for more than 40 per cent of the world’s population. This is projected to rise to 50 per cent by 2050.

“Australian research that can help meet the growing demand for protection against tropical diseases can help to create jobs for Australians and better lives for those to our north.”

The funding will help support research in virology and disease control as well as the development of new treatments and vaccines for tropical diseases.

The Coalition’s $42 million investment matches the funding commitment made by the Queensland Government. The $42 million commitment includes:

• $25.5 million to fund Tropical Health Research and Training facilities at JCU in Townsville, Cairns and the Torres Strait
• $10 million to fund a Translational Research Centre at JCU Townsville
• $1.5 million to fund an Occupational Health Research Centre in Mackay
• $5 million to fund Network and general operating activities.

The funding has been made available by the Australian Government through the Australian Research Council (ARC).

More information about the funding for this project is available from the ARC website.

For more information

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