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Commencement of construction for AITHM Cairns

AITHM hosted Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham and the Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch recently as they turned the first sod to mark the commencement of construction for AITHM’s world-class tropical health research and training facility in Cairns.

The new facility at James Cook University’s Cairns campus will build Australia’s research and training abilities in virology, disease and transmission control as well as the development of new treatments and vaccines for tropical diseases.

AITHM chief executive Andrew Johnson said the ­project would put Cairns at the forefront of the emerging knowledge economy.

“We’re delighted we can add­ress the infrastructure that will enable us to undertake res­earch required to provide eff­ective treatments for tropical diseases,” he said.

Minister Birmingham said Australia’s highly technical and advanced research capability provided it with a distinct opportunity to take a leading role in tropical health and medicine. 

“This is an important foundation in the research effort to improve the health outcomes for regional and remote communities in tropical Australia and across the world,” Minister Birmingham said. 

“The work conducted right here in Cairns will lead to breakthroughs that will reduce mortality rates and the burden of suffering for people who contract tropical diseases around the world, which also improves workforce productivity, the attractiveness of tropical regions for economic investment and overall quality of life.”

Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the project reflected the government’s commitment to Northern Australia.

“This facility will ensure Australia is on the front foot in the face of these threats and will build on James Cook University’s reputation as an international leader in tropical health and medicine,” he said.

Funding of $18M has been provided by the Australian Government, via the Australian Research Council’s Special Research Initiative Scheme, and funding of $6.5M by the Queensland Government, for the construction of these facilities.

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