Wednesday, 11 September 2019
Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct
I'm proud to say that the Gold Coast is making leaps and bounds in the health and knowledge space. Our health and knowledge precinct currently employs around 10,000 people, expected to grow to over 26,000 people in the coming years. It's supported by world-class infrastructure, spanning more than 200 hectares, and is globally unique. It incorporates Griffith University, my alma mater; Gold Coast University Hospital; the new Gold Coast Private Hospital; and Cohort and is a space which is harnessing the talents of our health and knowledge professionals, academics and local business to build a collaborative entrepreneurial community. As part of National Science Week, I recently had the pleasure of speaking at the Cohort opening.
With strengths in glycomics, advanced design and manufacturing and allied health and medicine, the precinct has the potential to play a major role in attracting international investment to Queensland and my electorate of Moncrieff. Research has found that co-working spaces are vital to thriving innovation precincts. That's because these spaces foster innovation and the sharing of ideas. I'd like to congratulate the general manager, Arianna Margetts, who has been instrumental in bringing this space to life.
Cohort is situated on von Itztein Street, named after Professor Mark von Itztein, whom I've had the pleasure of meeting a couple of times now. He's making much progress, at the Griffith Institute for Glycomics, in bringing vaccines into clinical trials, with the ultimate goal of delivering them to market. I'd like to congratulate the professor for his incredible contribution.
A few weeks ago, I visited the institute, with Health Minister Greg Hunt, to see the research they are doing—sponsored by Broadbeach Rotary Club—on the malaria vaccine. They are also undertaking cutting-edge research into individual treatment for ovarian cancer. The nearby ADaPT 1 Institute, which specialises in 3D printing, assists surgeons when performing high-risk surgeries on brain aneurysms and cerebral palsy patients. Congratulations to Dr Hal Rice and Dr Laetitia de Villiers for the groundbreaking work they are doing to save lives through new surgical techniques using the latest technologies.
This again champions our local industry for not only preventing life-threatening diseases here and abroad, but also boosting our local economy and creating jobs. A few kilometres away from the health and knowledge precinct is a company making progress in the tech medical industry. The health minister and I launched THC Global in Southport, the largest medicinal cannabis manufacturing facility in the country. They are producing medical cannabis at a far lower cost, compared to other global markets. For Australian patients, this means there is easier access to high-quality products at a more affordable prices. It also benefits our local economy, creating 75 jobs in Moncrieff alone, plus an extra 150 jobs in Bundaberg and in Ballina, through its export opportunities.
Science and innovation, health and knowledge are vital to our society. They give us the skills to think creatively, to innovate, to collaborate and to make informed decisions that can affect lives around the globe. The Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct, which is in my electorate, is driving great discoveries that help to solve some of our biggest challenges.