Recent News & Updates

Media Release: $5m grant to turbocharge aquaculture research in the north

The farming of fast-growing, highly efficient aquaculture species that are able to resist impacts of costly diseases will soon become a reality, with James Cook University and partners awarded $4.9 million from the Australian Research Council through their Industrial Transformation Research Program.

The Director of the new Research Hub, Professor Dean Jerry, said the funding will establish the “ARC Research Hub for Supercharging Tropical Aquaculture through Genetic Solutions”, which will be funded for 5 years and work to transform the productivity of aquaculture species farmed in the north.

The program will apply modern genetic, selective breeding and artificial intelligence approaches to dramatically improve the productivity of farming five important northern Australian aquaculture species, namely barramundi, pearl oyster, black tiger prawn, grouper and marine red-algae.

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Media Release: Arts community snubbed as Riverway Arts Centre still not reopened after 2019 floods

Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson says Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill needs to explain to the community why the Riverway Arts Centre hasn’t reopened two-and-a-half years after the 2019 floods.

The 400-patron capacity contemporary studio-style performance space has been closed since February 2019 when it sustained significant water damage in the monsoon flood event.

Council initially advised the Centre would be open by the end of July 2019, then in May, pushed the deadline back to September 2019. In December 2019, Council advised there was still more work to be completed.

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Media Release: Townsville City Deal Continues to Deliver

The Morrison Government has today announced a $55 million investment in two key projects as part of the transformational Townsville City Deal.

The investment will help revitalise two iconic organisations in North Queensland.

A $40 million funding boost will help transform Reef HQ – the world’s largest living coral reef aquarium – into Australia’s national centre of excellence for tropical coral reef education, making it a premium international tourism destination as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

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Media Release: Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide formally established

Federal Member for Herbert and Afghanistan veteran Phillip Thompson has welcomed the formal establishment of the Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide.

The Royal Commission will inquire into systemic issues and common themes related to defence and veteran death by suicide, including the possible contribution of pre-service, service, transition, separation and post-service issues, and other matters believed by the Royal Commission to be relevant to its inquiry.

“This is something the Townsville defence and veteran community has been wanting for a very long time and I’m very glad we’ve reached this milestone,” Mr Thompson said.

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Media Release: International Rugby Sevens Tournament Brings Boost for Townsville

Townsville rugby fans and business owners alike are reaping the benefits of this weekend’s PacificAus Rugby Sevens tournament.

Federal Herbert MP Phillip Thompson attended Saturday evening’s matches and represented Foreign Minister Marise Payne at a reception event with diplomats from the Pacific and representatives of Oceania Rugby and Rugby Australia.

He said Townsville’s hosting of the event, which was supported by the Australian Government and designed to help teams prepare for next month’s Olympics, was a huge boost for the city.

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Media Release: Community groups to receive crime-prevention boost

Applications are now open for grants of between $10,000 and $500,000 for infrastructure to prevent crime at community organisations and public facilities under the Infrastructure Grants round of the Safer Communities program.

Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said Townsville’s crime problem affected everyone in the city, including local community groups and organisations

“Unfortunately criminals often see clubhouses and community buildings as soft targets, because these volunteer-run organisations just can’t afford the lighting and CCTV they need to protect their property,” Mr Thompson said.

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Media Release: Road safety upgrade to reduce crashes in Kirwan

Drivers will soon have a safer trip to work or school, particularly in wet conditions, thanks to a federally-funded project to upgrade a local road with a high number of serious crashes.

Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said Charles Street in Kirwan would be upgraded, south east of Sabadall Street, under the Federal Government’s Black Spot Program.

“There is nothing more important when it comes to our roads than safety, which is why we’re putting in $261,000 for this local project,” Mr Thompson said.

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Media Release: Palm Island to benefit from $1m telecommunications boost

Palm Island residents will soon benefit from faster and more reliable mobile phone coverage thanks to federal funding through the Regional Connectivity Program.

Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson announced just over $1 million would go towards upgrading Telstra’s existing 4GX macro base station at Palm Island North, increasing the bandwidth of the connection with the mainland.

“It doesn’t matter whether you live on the mainland or an island, everyone should have access to reliable communications,” Mr Thompson said.

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Media Release: Veterans’ Oasis opens in Townsville

A new one-stop support shop that has been years in the making has officially opened in Townsville today to provide ongoing support for veterans and their families.

Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said it was great to see this long-awaited project now realised and ready to start supporting the serving and ex-serving community in Australia’s largest garrison city.

“I transitioned from the ADF almost 10 years ago and I wish there had been something like this available for me back then. I’m proud of the increased support we’ve provided for veterans and their families, particularly during transition, and this is just another step in ensuring all veterans receive support when and where they need it,” Mr Thompson said.

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Media Release: Beachside bliss with boost to mobiles at Toolakea

Residents and visitors to the Toolakea area are benefiting from new and improved Telstra mobile coverage as part of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program.

Member for Herbert, Phillip Thompson, said it was important that people across the broader Townsville region had access to mobile communications.

“Communication is key not just for the local economy and business community, but for personal use and during natural disasters,” Mr Thompson said.

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Media Release: Federal Government grants available for crime prevention

Applications will open at 9am today for grants of between $200,000 and $1.5 million for early intervention programs for youths who are at high risk of becoming involved with the criminal justice system.

Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said he hoped Townsville organisations would make the most of the opportunity to help address the city’s crime problems.

“Townsville has been battling a crime epidemic for far too long, and the root causes of it have not been addressed,” Mr Thompson said.

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Media Release: New Jobs to come from NAIF Loan to James Cook University

James Cook University (JCU) can push ahead with major works on its new Technology Innovation Complex that will create new jobs in the region, after the loan from the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) reached financial close.

This means JCU can now draw on the $96 million NAIF loan to fund construction of the four-storey complex at the Bebegu Yumba campus in Townsville, which will be the centrepiece of a new innovation hub.

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