Navigating a boost for science and economy

AN official celebration was recently held for Australia’s new Marine National Facility research vessel, RV Investigator, at CSIRO’s Hobart headquarters on Castray Esplanade.

As part of the “Welcome to Port” celebration, the public was invited to the CSIRO Wharf where hundreds of people took advantage of the open day afternoon.

The Federal Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane, and dignitaries including the President of the Senate, Stephen Parry, and the Speaker of Tasmania’s House of Assembly, Elise Archer, attended the commissioning ceremony for the $120 million ship.

Mr Macfarlane said the vessel heralded a new era for Australian marine science and celebrated the industry, science and research collaboration that was essential to growing the Australian economy.

“The vessel houses around $20 million worth of purpose-built scientific equipment to allow scientists to undertake advanced research in areas including oceanographic, biological, atmospheric and geoscience research,” he said.

Ms Archer said the CSIRO’s estimations of the economic benefits to Tasmania flowing on from the Investigator and the Marine National Facility were positive.

“Combined, they are expected to inject between $7 million to $11 million into the local economy which is an added bonus to having the best scientists in this field with the best equipment,” she said.

“The 94-metre vessel has been described as a ‘data gathering monster’ with more than 30 cameras onboard and 102 kilometres of cabling. “