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RV Investigator marks a new era in marine science and research

12 December 2014

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane officially commissioned into service the Research Vessel (RV) Investigator for the Marine National Facility in a special welcome to port ceremony in Hobart today.

Mr Macfarlane said the vessel heralds a new era for Australian marine science and celebrates the industry, science and research collaboration that is essential to growing the Australian economy.

“Australia oversees the world’s third largest marine jurisdiction. The Government’s investment of over $65 million will support the Investigator’s contribution to a wide range of critical research in our waters and beyond over the next thirty years,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“The vessel houses around $20 million worth of purpose built scientific equipment to allow scientists to undertake advanced research in areas including oceanographic, biological, atmospheric and geoscience research.

“The vessel’s marine geoscience capability will dramatically improve our search for new oil and gas reserves and other resources, to help secure Australia’s future energy and resource needs.

“Fisheries researchers will now be able to study what lives between 1500m and 3000m below the surface, to improve the sustainable management of our marine resources.

“The on-board weather radar will collect data in remote locations like the Southern and Indian Oceans, improving forecasts and assisting in better preparing communities for weather events.”

The Investigator will undertake its first voyage next year. Under direction of an independent Steering Committee, the Marine National Facility is owned and operated by CSIRO on behalf of the nation.

“With strategic scientific investments and closer business and research collaboration, both strongly represented in the RV Investigator, this Government is working to unlock the strong contribution that science and research can make to the economic opportunities ahead of us,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“The Australian Government’s contributions to science and research will give science a central role in developing industry and enhancing our productivity.

“We are putting science at the centre of industry policy because we know that it’s the smarter use of our scientists - including in marine research - that will drive our economic gains and boost our international competitiveness, as well as contribute to the global knowledge base in science and research.”

Media contact: Mr Macfarlane's office 02 7277 7070