Work begins on $230M biosciences centre

Work begins on $230M biosciences centre

27 May 2009

Victoria's $230 million Biosciences Research Centre is set to commence construction five months ahead of schedule, generating hundreds of jobs for the state, Premier John Brumby said today.

Mr Brumby was speaking at La Trobe University's Bundoora campus at a ceremony to mark the start of construction and said the vital new facility would put Victoria at the forefront of innovation and agricultural research.

'The Biosciences Research Centre will be a world-class centre for agricultural biosciences research and development and will boost Victoria's ability to make important scientific discoveries.

'This facility will stimulate economic activity in Victoria through investment in biosciences and biotechnology, while delivering research to boost productivity, fight diseases such as Equine Influenza and make Victoria's farms even more sustainable.

'Importantly, the project is also estimated to generate 390 jobs during construction and inject around $620 million into the Victorian economy,' said Mr Brumby.

La Trobe Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Johnson said the Biosciences Research Centre is extremely important for the University in terms of enabling research collaboration with world-leading scientists in a state-of-the-art facility, and boosting the national and international profile of the University.

'La Trobe is undergoing rapid change, we are growing and we are evolving. Scientific research is becoming an increasingly important a part of the portfolio of subjects we offer to our students and I have no doubt that the research that will be done here will contribute to the health of Victoria and Australia’s agricultural bioscience sector for decades to come.'

Major Projects Minister Tim Pallas said Plenary Research, comprising Plenary Group, Grocon Constructors and Honeywell Services, had been chosen to deliver the project.

'This is yet another impressive achievement and demonstrates the confidence of the private sector in the strength of the Victorian economy,' Mr Pallas said.

'This project will deliver a state-of-the-art facility that will provide internationally recognised research and development outcomes for the benefit of Victorians.'

Agriculture Minister Joe Helper said the Biosciences Research Centre would be a landmark facility for Victoria’s $11.8 billion agricultural sector.

'Victoria is a leader in protecting and working with our agricultural sector against biosecurity threats that provide a constant risk to our farming productivity,' Mr Helper said.

'This important centre will help to further protect this sector by allowing us to rapidly detect and eradicate plant and animal pest and disease outbreaks. The Biosciences Research Centre will complement our $205 million Future Farming Strategy, which is delivering the services farmers need to take on today’s challenges and benefit from future opportunities.'

The Biosciences Research Centre is a joint initiative of the Victorian Government and La Trobe University. To be located at the university’s Bundoora Campus, the facility is expected to be operational in 2012.

ENDS

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