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New fund to support environmental research



Central Queensland Koala Volunteers has partnered with The Royal Society of Queensland to establish a research trust fund to support environmental research in the region.

Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley will launch the Trust at the Queensland Museum on Friday June 13.

Central Queensland Koala Volunteers has supported koala research through CQUniversity’s Koala Research Centre for more than 20 years.

The Volunteers have founded research activities from Hughenden to Tambo and Springsure to Mackay, raising thousands of dollars and providing hundreds of work hours to support CQUniversity koala research. Now the Volunteers are providing a legacy for future koala research by establishing a trust to provide seed-funding for scientists and naturalists.

By partnering with the State’s oldest scientific institution, The Royal Society of Queensland, the Volunteers will establish a conservative and well-managed fund to support Queensland-wide research well into the future.

Dr Alistair Melzer, Chair of the Central Queensland Koala Volunteers and adjunct Research Fellow at CQUniversity, said that the research activity was initially seeded by a grant from the Australian Koala Foundation. Subsequently, it has been supported almost wholly by the community and resource sectors.

Dr Melzer called on the community and corporate sector to contribute to the trust to build its investment base and allow more grants to be awarded.

“Respectable economic studies have shown that scientific research creates economic value 40 times as large as its initial cost,” said Dr Geoff Edwards, President of The Royal Society of Queensland.

“Donations to the new fund should be seen as not an expense but an investment in our society’s future.”

The trust fund will be launched as part of a short seminar on the value of scientific research as a foundation of economic prosperity. Entry to the seminar is free of charge to the public.

Keynote speakers will also include Dr Geoff Garrett, Chief Scientist of Queensland and Dr Anna Littleboy, Research Director, CSIRO.

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