15 February 2007
Dear staff, project leaders, students and associated
stakeholders in the CRC for Tropical Savannas Management,
I am writing to you to share the Board of Management and
Advisory Committees’ disappointment in the fact that the
prospective Co-operative Research Centre for Tropical Savannas
Futures did not succeed in being funded for the next seven years.
The current CRC will cease beyond 30 June 2008.
The Commonwealth Government’s changed policy to now not
fund public good, distributed private good and, in effect
environmentally based CRC’s, meant that we didn’t have
much hope. We spent a lot of time and money on the requested Full
Business Case but we weren’t even given an interview even
after we had completely re-directed our submission to the directly
commercial aspects of Northern pastoralism, the mining and energy
industries and Aboriginal employment and empowerment. Other CRC
proposals of the same nature as ours also didn’t get an
interview in this current round (e.g. Weeds which cost the farm
sector $4m p.a.)
We will have had 13 years of path-breaking research completed by
the middle of next year. We can be proud of what we set out to do
and what we have achieved. We built something in the top third of
Australia, including a lot of usable knowledge and expertise. We
will try to house our databases and websites.
No matter in what capacity you are/were associated with the CRC,
I want to thank you for your participation. Some of you have
contributed through your research studies and it’s been a
two-way street in the CRC as it has learnt from you and you have
gained from it. I thank you for your dedication if you have been a
researcher, in a management or project selection or student role. I
thank all of you for the way you did so much because you believe in
this part of the country and that the co-ordination and carrying
out of research can enhance policy and livelihoods.
When I look back on our early days and the then challenges, it
is remarkable what we achieved and how we grew in knowledge and
were, perhaps able to gain better outcomes as well as outputs.
It has been my great privilege to have been Chair of the Board
since 1995, to have worked with three CEOs and to be able to get to
know some of you a bit better.
The Board and Advisory Committee are striving to create a
replacement body of some kind.
Let's all now work together to go out with a “bang”
if we are not successful with plans now being formulated!
Every best wish,
John Kerin, Chair, Tropical Savannas CRC.