Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
The Honourable John McVeigh
Open Funding Program recipients announced
The Newman Government has announced the selection of six research proposals to shed some light into understanding the transmission of Hendra virus.
Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry John McVeigh said the announcement coincided with the two Hendra virus cases confirmed in Rockhampton and Ingham earlier this week.
“James Cook University, Griffith University, CSIRO and the University of Western Australia will commence projects immediately,” Mr McVeigh said.
“Their research will be funded by the $2 million Open Funding Program as part of an overall $12 million funding package under the National Hendra Virus Research Program.
“It is encouraging to see two of Queensland’s finest universities selected in the Open Funding Program, with research scheduled to be completed by May 2015.
“Authorities have an established process for handling the disease, however these research projects will look into how the disease is spread, how it m ight be prevented and improving how it is detected.
“Funding these proposals allows us to have a better understanding of the virus’ behaviour in order to reduce the risk of infection on humans and horses.”
Mr McVeigh said Queensland and New South Wales horse owners experienced an unprecedented number of Hendra virus cases in each state in 2011 and with two new cases yesterday, these projects are certainly timely.
“The more Hendra virus incidents that occur, the more data and research that can be applied to this virus to better understand how the virus works,” he said.
“While there is a need for more research into the virus, veterinarians and horse owners should always take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and to reduce the risk of this virus occurring on their properties.”
The projects will be centrally coordinated by the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation and funded by the Queensland, New South Wales and Australian Governments.
The six research projects were selected from an open call for proposals and were reviewed by a panel of experts from Primary Industries and Resources South Australia, Curtin University, University of Queensland and the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
For more information on the Open Funding Program and summaries of the research projects into Hendra virus, visit www.rirdc.qld.gov.au or visit Biosecurity Queensland website at www.biosecurity.qld.gov.au