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Research at heart of new University of Southern Queensland and Granite Belt partnership

Research opportunities for both scientists and students at the University of Southern Queensland have been given a boost with a Memorandum of Understanding between the University and Granite Belt Water Limited (GBW).

Engineering, agriculture, horticulture, hydrology and environment are just some of the research project focus areas that stand to benefit from the new partnership.

GBW is a community-owned entity with oversight of the Granite Belt Irrigation Project that will deliver a 12,074 megalitre dam at Emu Swamp as well as 126km of pipeline throughout the Granite Belt.

University of Southern Queensland Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie said the research opportunities made available through the MOU would be of benefit to not only the University, but the greater Granite Belt region more generally.

“There are a number of great synergies and mutually beneficial engagement opportunities for and between both the University of Southern Queensland and GBW, as well as the communities we each operate in,” Professor Mackenzie said.

“The MOU has the support of a number of areas of the University including the School of Civil Engineering and Surveying, Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences, Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts, School of Health and Medical Sciences as well as the Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment,” she said.

“To be part of a new infrastructure project of this magnitude offers our students and researchers a unique chance to be part of research projects in their own backyard while strengthening industry connections in their field of work.”

Granite Belt Water CEO Lloyd Taylor said the partnership would deliver valuable skills and insights to GBW while providing real-life experience of a transformational infrastructure development to researchers and students.

“Researchers and students will be actively involved in progressing and completing, what is, a major infrastructure project for the region and the State,” Mr Taylor said.

“As people living and working in the Downs region, they will be well placed to understand the needs and opportunities of the local community and businesses that will benefit from the scheme, while working on the dam,” he said.

The Australian and Queensland governments are jointly funding the Emu Swamp Dam project. The Australian Government, through the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund, has committed $42 million toward the delivery of the project.

Two people sitting at desk
Vice-Chancellor Professor Geraldine Mackenzie and Dan Hunt from Granite Belt Water Limited