A NEW multi-million dollar world-class animal research facility will be built at Dreamworld on the Gold Coast.
The state government today announced $2.7m in funding to expand the theme park’s Corroboree and wildlife areas.
The Dreamworld Future Lab will give scientists and researchers the space, time and vital access they need to be able to work on conservation projects and protect Australia’s native wildlife.
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The facility will also allow school groups and visitors to experience first-hand the impact of scientific research and importance of animal conservation.
Assistant Tourism Industry Development Minister and Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said the new facility will be the first of its kind in Queensland.
“The Dreamworld Future Lab will be a world-class research facility and will allow us to deploy experts to tackle some of the biggest issues facing our native wildlife – like the threat of chlamydia on the local koala population,” Ms Scanlon said.
“It will be the first of its kind in our state and will enhance the research capabilities of experts at the University of Queensland by allowing researchers and science undergraduates up-close contact with animals in the field.
“It’s important we diversify the Gold Coast’s economy and create highly-skilled jobs for the future.
“But the benefits of the research facility are twofold. Our native animals are a hit with tourists around the world, particularly Chinese visitors – today’s announcement will help to keep the Gold Coast front-of-mind for prospective tourists.”
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch said today’s announcement was a win for conservationists around Queensland.
“It’s vital that we find new ways to protect our native wildlife for future generations,” she said.
“This will help to further the great work of our researchers and will also help to promote conservation among the wider public.”
Dreamworld’s General Manager Life Sciences, Al Mucci said the design and development of the new laboratory is expected to start in mid-2019.
“On completion, the Dreamworld Future Lab will be the only operational scientific laboratory in Queensland that will have the capability to create a STEM tourism experience based on the conservation of koalas and other wildlife,” Mr Mucci said.
“We believe this will be the first of its kind in the world where guests will experience researchers working on current wildlife conservation projects.”