Brisbane opens Health and Food Sciences Precinct

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 10th August 2010

Health and Food Sciences Precinct - BrisbaneA new $100 million dollar Health and Food Sciences Precinct in Brisbane, a joint project between the Queensland State Government and the CSIRO, will cover human and animal health and food sciences in a ‘centre of excellence’.

The new centre was officially opened by Premier Anna Bligh, Federal Cabinet Secretary and Special Minister of State, Senator Joe Ludwig and Queensland Primary Industries Minister, Tim Mulherin today.

Research at the precinct will include a variety of projects aiming to maintain Australia’s reputation for delivering clean, safe and high quality food and animal products.

These will include protection of Australia’s animal products and industries from emerging and exotic diseases, as well as testing for chemical residues and antibiotics to ensure food safety. The precinct will also conduct taste-testing research into flavour and eating qualities, and examine possible improvements to the processing, packaging and distribution of foods (for example, waste minimisation, flavour preservation or even the survival of mud crabs to market).

Functional foods, value-added foods and ‘super’ foods will be a focus at the new precinct – food products with additional benefits will be developed to improve health, prevent disease and provide new industry opportunities.

Premier Anna Bligh said the new facility, which is located at the Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services Campus in Cooper Plains, is an Australian first.

“This will be a brain centre for 150 State Government and CSIRO scientists,” said Bligh. “Research will include creating ‘super’ foods to combat disorders such as diabetes and degenerative eye diseases. They will also work to enhance animal health and biosecurity by finding new ways to protect against emerging and exotic diseases and contaminants in food.”

Federal Cabinet Secretary and Special Minister of State, Senator Joe Ludwig, said the Precinct is a great example of how Federal and State Governments can work together to support the health and wellbeing of the Australian community, as well as the sustainability and viability of the Australian food industry.

“The co-location of CSIRO and Queensland Government scientists will benefit Queensland industries and communities through improved collaboration and access to CSIRO’s food and nutrition research capability from across Australia,” Ludwig said.

Minister for Primary Industries, Fisheries and Rural and Regional Queensland, Tim Mulherin, said bringing together animal and human health diagnostic capabilities and food research has many advantages.

“The precinct will enhance the sustainability and international competitiveness of agriculture, forestry, fisheries, mining and tourism industries in Queensland,” Mulherin said.

“It will create a vibrant knowledge centre for health and food in Queensland.”

Premier Bligh also said that the recently announced Queensland Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases (QCEID) would be based at the new Precinct.

The new Health and Food Sciences Precinct is part of a total $377.9 million investment by the Queensland Government and Federal Labor, which includes the new Ecosciences Precinct at Boggo Road Urban Village and Dutton Park, which will be opened later this year.

“These two precincts will enable Queensland and Federal Government researchers to collaborate like never before in new, world class facilities,” said Bligh. “This investment has dramatically increased opportunities to build closer ties with industry and universities and attract leading scientists to Queensland.”