Edi­tor’s com­ment:

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FEEDBACK -

THE work be­ing done at the Dain­tree Dis­cov­ery Cen­tre and the Cape Tribu­la­tion ob­ser­va­tory are per­fect ex­am­ples of how the lo­cal econ­omy can be di­ver­si­fied.

Both cen­tres have po­si­tioned them­selves at the fore­front of sci­en­tific rain­for­est re­search through in­no­va­tion and plenty of hard yakka.

Own­ers of the Dain­tree Dis­cov­ery Cen­tre Pam and Ron Bir­kett de­serve credit for hav­ing the vi­sion and then in­vest­ing in sci­en­tific re­search to bet­ter un­der­stand the role of rain­forests in the cli­mate change de­bate.

The Bir­ketts have do­nated $60,000 and their staff are ac­tively in­volved in re­search with sci­en­tists from James Cook Univer­sity to carry out stud­ies which have a global im­pact.

The Cape Tribu­la­tion ob­ser­va­tory is on the brink of se­cur­ing a $10 mil­lion in­vest­ment from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to ex­pand its fa­cil­i­ties.

This will en­able the ob­ser­va­tory to es­tab­lish a train­ing and func­tions cen­tre ca­pa­ble of host­ing large groups of sci­en­tists from around the world to come and study the planet’s most an­cient liv­ing rain­for­est.

The Dain­tree rain­for­est is the per­fect ed­u­ca­tional tool to play a sig­nif­i­cant role in the ever-in­creas­ing thirst for knowl­edge about cli­mate change.

Build­ing this re­search ca­pac­ity is vi­tal to not only en­sur­ing the rain­for­est is pro­tected from cli­mate change as much as pos­si­ble, but in stim­u­lat­ing the lo­cal econ­omy.

If gov­ern­ments want to truly as­sist com­mu­ni­ties such as ours in di­ver­si­fy­ing our econ­omy, then they need to in­vest in them.

What is on dis­play in the Dain­tree should be the first of many such projects in the ed­u­ca­tion sec­tor.

There should be noth­ing stop­ping the state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments from in­vest­ing in ed­u­ca­tional fa­cil­i­ties and learn­ing cen­tres which at­tract peo­ple to the re­gion.

We have the reef and we have the rain­for­est, some­thing no other place on Earth can lay claim to, and they have an in­cred­i­ble value to re­searchers. There is also the ca­pac­ity for a vo­ca­tional in­dige­nous train­ing cen­tre or a train­ing school for health work­ers in the re­gion.

In the mean­time though, in­no­va­tors such as the Bir­ketts should be con­grat­u­lated.

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