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  • Crispin Till

    Email Crispin Till

    Big boost for Cairns Aquarium with major funding announcement

    The Cairns Aquarium has received a long-awaited funding boost with the announcement of a combined $2 million grant from the Federal Government and the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre.

    The funding will be used to establish a reef and rainforest research education centre at the new attraction, set to open next month.

    Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch and Regional Development Minister Fiona Nash announced the funding boost late this afternoon, saying the research centre would create more than 70 jobs during the construction phase and 35 ongoing positions once the new facility is completed.

    "The new education centre will generate significant economic benefits by attracting more domestic and international visitors to the Cairns region, and diversifying their experience while they are here," Mr Entsch said.

    The research centre project is being jointly funded with the Turnbull Government contributing $995,000 under the Building Better Regions Fund and the Reef and Rainforest Research Centre contributing $1 million.

    Minister Nash said the new public education centre would provide the region with another valuable tourist drawcard.

    "Providing the aquarium with an education centre, where visitors can interact with rainforest and reef ecosystem simulations, will increase understanding of this unique environment and provide a welcome lift for the local and regional economies," Minister Nash said.

    "I congratulate the Cairns community on their successful application under the Building Better Regions Fund - with more than 500 applications, this project has beaten literally hundreds of others to win funding.

    The Cairns Aquarium recently announced it would open its doors for the first time in September.