Charles Sturt University has been recognised nationally for its contribution to the management of natural resources with the announcement it will be a key partner in a new Cooperative Research Centre (CRC).
Federal Minister for Industry, Science and Resources, Senator Nick Minchin, yesterday announced a Cooperative Research Centre for Plant-based Management of Dryland Salinity was one of 19 new CRC’s to share a total of $325 million over the next seven years.
Senator Minchin said the CRC would focus on managing dryland salinity through the use of profitable, perennial plant-based farming systems.
Head of CSU’s School of Agriculture, Mr Peter Cregan, said the University’s Wagga Wagga Campus was one of three locations for the CRC, with headquarters at the University of Western Australia, Perth, and another site at the University of Adelaide.
"CSU has been recognised for its expertise, resources and track record in salinity research, management and education," Mr Cregan said.
Other key partners are NSW Agriculture, CSIRO Plant Industry, the WA Departments of Agriculture and Conservation and Land Management, the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment in Victoria and the Department of Primary Industries and Resources in SA.
Mr Cregan said CSU would lead the education program within the CRC, involving farmers, land managers and students.
"It will utilise CSU’s expertise in distance education to provide community education in areas such as landscape and salinity management and developing profitable alternate enterprises for saline lands," he said.
The new CRC’s official commencement date is 1 July 2001 but due to special seed funding of $100 000 from the National Dryland Salinity Program, work will start immediately.
CSU is also associated with CRCs for Sustainable Rice Production, Viticulture, Weed Management Systems and Sustainable Tourism.