Queens­land Drought and Mit­i­ga­tion cen­tre launch

Central and North Burnett Times - - RURAL LIFE -

A NEW re­search cen­tre is help­ing Queens­land pro­duc­ers in­crease their re­silience to drought and cli­mate risks, thanks to a col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the State Gov­ern­ment and the Uni­ver­sity of South­ern Queens­land.

Min­is­ter for Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries and Ru­ral Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Bill Byrne said the Queens­land Drought Mit­i­ga­tion Cen­tre helps Queens­land pro­duc­ers man­age in­creas­ingly volatile cli­mate events.

“While drought is a part of life in Queens­land, it’s one of the big­gest chal­lenges faced by our pro­duc­ers which leads to sig­nif­i­cant eco­nomic, en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial im­pacts,” Mr Byrne said.

“No group is af­fected by changes to our cli­mate more than pro­duc­ers. They are on the front line and that is why this ini­tia­tive is a ma­jor ad­vance for our food and fi­bre sec­tor.”

Mr Byrne said re­searchers were analysing his­tor­i­cal cli­mate data, in­clud­ing mod­el­ling over the past 1000 years, to iden­tify long term pat­terns or links with cli­mate driv­ers.

“Ad­di­tion­ally, QDMC is of­fer­ing sup­port tools to help farm man­agers use th­ese im­proved sea­sonal fore­casts in their plan­ning, along with pro­vid­ing ad­vice on cli­mate change pro­jec­tions at re­gional lev­els, and how to adapt to the cli­mate” he said.

“We’re thrilled to be part­ner­ing with USQ on this vi­tal pro­gram as they have in­ter­na­tion­ally recog­nised re­search and de­vel­op­ment ex­per­tise in this area.”

USQ Vice-Chan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor Janet Ver­byla said this was a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity to ad­vance cli­mate sci­ence re­search.

“We can work to­gether to fur­ther im­prove cli­mate re­search and fore­cast­ing,” Pro­fes­sor Ver­byla said.

PHOTO: USQ PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

NEW INI­TIA­TIVE: For­mer Queens­land State MP Kerry Shine, State Agri­cul­ture and Fish­eries Min­is­ter Bill Byrne, and Dr Ch­eryl McCarthy from the Na­tional Cen­tre for Engi­neer­ing.

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