$230m research centre begins construction

Narration:

Victorian Premier John Brumby and Vice Chancellor Paul Johnson recently rolled up their sleeves to mark the beginning of construction of La Trobe University's new $230 million Biosciences Research Centre, which will open in 2012. The Vice-Chancellor spoke of the continued committed partnership that La Trobe shares with the Victorian Government, through the Department of Primary Industries.

Paul Johnson:

This project is a partnership between the University and the state government, its something we have been talking about for several years and it comes from a recognition that the government scientists and the university's scientists have complimentary skills and complimentary interests. The investment by the state government is an indication of how much they recognize the world class quality of La Trobe's research facilities and research scientists.

Narration:

The completion of the Biosciences Research Centre will further enhance La Trobe and DPI with one of Australia's leading research facilities, providing a major boost for agriculture bioscience and biotechnology research. The centre will create 390 new jobs while injecting about $690 million into the Victorian economy.

Annabelle Duncan:

The real benefit of this centre that its going to be new infrastructure, new equipment and going to bring teams together who work the science spectrum right from the very basic research through to the applied research that can used directly in the field to encourage agriculture.

Narration:

Plenary Research consortium's successful bid means that construction will begin five months ahead of schedule. This is one of the first projects contracted using the Partnerships Victoria model following the onset of the global financial crisis, and is designed to strengthen Victoria's economy.

Annabelle Duncan:

The research will span the spectrum from very applied research and looking at productivity, but it will also be looking at protection of biodiversity and looking at maintaining sustainability of our eco systems which very very necessary if we are going to have an agricultural system going forward and we are going to have a strong eco system to support that.