While Federal Cabinet was held in Gladstone last week it was a good opportunity for both the Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor MP, and the Minister for Education, Jason Clare, to gain a deeper understanding of their portfolios by visiting CQUniversity’s Gladstone Marina campus.
Minister Clare was treated to a visit of CQUniversity’s Coastal Marine Ecosystem Research Centre (CMERC) which the Albanese Government had committed $15 million in funding to complete the construction and fit-out of the facility.
During his visit, he learned about the world-class research that was happening at the Centre including seagrass restoration, seaweed research, how ducks are helping with marine disaster management, and he even got up close and personal with a ‘friendly’ mud crab who had called CMERC home during a recent research project.
Researcher Mohammad Amzad Hossain spoke about the recent mud crab indicator project that was conducted as part of the Gladstone Healthy Harbour Partnership, while researcher Emma Theobald talked about her research into the hatchery culture of seaweeds for biofilter mariculture in the Great Barrier Reef.
The Minister also saw community engagement in action with a group of sea rangers from the Torres Strait working with the State Government and the University to learn about the local marine environment.
Professor Klomp said CMERC was at the forefront of marine research in the Southern Great Barrier Reef and was excited to showcase the amazing work being done in the space to the minister.
Keen to meet some of the University’s trades students and explore the Trades Training Centre, Minister O’Connor was introduced to some of the electrical trade students who were on campus as part of their apprenticeship training.
CQU Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp were excited to also showcase the fantastic facilities helping to train and upskill regional Queensland, including the soon-to-be-finished School of Manufacturing facility which was federally funded.
“The Times Higher Education recently cited CQUniversity as the eighth highest-ranked university globally in protecting and restoring life below water,” he explained.
“The Albanese Government’s commitment of $15 million to complete the construction and fit-out of CMERC will ensure that we continue to build on that incredible result and continue to find new and innovative ways to preserve sea country well into the future.”