Sport Fishing for Sustainable Livelihoods Research Hub Launch
It is a great pleasure for Kaye and me to join you this evening.
Queensland, as you all know, is big – almost four times the size of Papua New Guinea – with many small, remote communities, places like Karumba and Doomadgee on the Gulf of Carpentaria, which we visited less than a month ago.
Queenslanders understand the challenges of sustainable economic development in remote communities. And we appreciate how important smaller communities are to our diversity and identity.
The work of this Research Hub is directed squarely at enhancing the well-being of smaller communities in PNG, so we are already on the same wavelength.
The research seeks to understand more about the mighty PNG Black Bass, as the foundation for the development and management of sustainable catch-and release sportfishing.
The project’s admirable objective is to provide an additional source of livelihood for communities by generating employment and business opportunities through small-scale tourism.
A great deal of expertise has been and will be brought to bear on the project in fields like biology, ecology, sociology and business – an excellent example of interdisciplinary teamwork.
And I note the special care being taken to ensure that equity, and respect for local culture, are woven into the project.
As Governor of Queensland, I am delighted to see Queensland expertise so prominent in the Research Hub, in particular from James Cook University, through TropWATER. It is inspirational to see JCU’s enormous body of knowledge in all things tropical being harnessed in this way.
I extend my thanks and congratulations to all individuals, institutions, and organisations in PNG and Australia that are involved in the Research Hub.
I thank the Australian and PNG Governments, and in particular the PNG National Fisheries Authority and ACIAR for their generous support.
I thank our hosts this evening, JCU, Trade and Investment Queensland, and the National Fisheries Authority.
The tropical waters of this region wash the coasts of Australia – especially Queensland – and PNG. It seems entirely fitting that we now join forces to encourage sustainable use of these waters, to the benefit of coastal communities in Australia’s nearest neighbour.
It is with great pleasure that I now officially launch the Sport Fishing for Sustainable Livelihoods Research Hub, and wish the project every success. Thank you.