House debates

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Constituency Statements

University of Queensland

10:57 am

Photo of Jane PrenticeJane Prentice (Ryan, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services) Share this | | Hansard source

Members have no doubt heard my previous congratulatory comments about the continuing achievements of the University of Queensland, based in the heart of the Ryan electorate. UQ's successes and world-leading research and capabilities set it apart from other universities in Australia and throughout the world. Members will recall the recognition of UQ's medical research in a number of my speeches I regularly give, with people like Professor Ian Frazer, Professor Mark Kendall, Professor Maree Smith and Dr Kate Schroder. These are all leaders of significant research undertaken at the university, which has led to some remarkable discoveries and life-changing medical advances.

In weeks just past, I was thrilled to read that UQ has now topped a global ranking of universities when it comes to mining and mineral engineering. The 2018 ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects separates universities by five fields containing 54 subjects, marking their performance in various courses such as engineering, life sciences, medical sciences and natural and social sciences. Significantly, UQ's achievement in mining and mineral engineering—one of the 22 subjects listed under the engineering category—was notable as the only first-place entry for an Australian university. I congratulate UQ and all involved in the faculties of mining and engineering for this well-deserved recognition as leaders in your field.

The innovation coming from the University of Queensland never ceases to amaze me. The universal language of science draws the brightest researchers from all over the world. Recently I was delighted to join Senator Seselja at UQ to announce $1.8 million worth of funding as part of the Cooperative Research Centre Projects program for local company Sustainable Organic Solutions, SOSBio. SOSBio is currently trialling a project to develop eco-friendly fertilisers for sustainable farming. The project will primarily take place in Queensland at cane farms in Maryborough, Childers and Ingham, as well as at a sugar research centre in Thailand. Expected to reduce fertiliser costs and improve plant growth in the tropical agriculture industry, the project will trial a new eco-friendly fertiliser technology containing plant-growth-promoting Rhizobacteria and innovative adaptive-release organic fertiliser to improve tropical agriculture and horticulture. This unique formulation is expected to reduce fertiliser costs, improve plant growth and minimise the runoff of nutrients from tropical farms to waterways.

The CRC-P Program is a critical element in the Turnbull government's commitment to innovation and helps businesses, industries and research organisations work together on short-term projects to develop practical solutions to challenges in key industry sectors. As a government, the coalition understands the significant economic and environmental benefits of inventive businesses like SOSBio. I look forward to seeing the outcomes discussed by company CEO Dr Nikolai Kinaev and his research team.

Federation Chamber adjourned at 11:00