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AgriBio puts Victoria at the forefront of research

Victoria’s new $288 million Centre for AgriBiosciences at Bundoora is now officially open with Premier Denis Napthine touring the cutting edge facility and meeting some of the 400 world-leading scientists who will be working at the centre.

“The work that will be carried out at the AgriBio centre will be of enormous benefit to the Victorian food and fibre industry,” Dr Napthine said.

“The Victorian food and fibre industry produced a record $9 billion in exports in 2011-12 and the Coalition Government is committed to growing this figure through our super trade missions and the work that will take place at AgriBio.

“This facility is one of a kind in Australia and easily ranks among the world’s best agricultural bioscience research facilities.

“Being at the forefront of innovation in agricultural research will be a massive advantage for our food and fibre producers and will make sure our valuable agricultural industries continue to deliver jobs and economic benefits throughout Victoria,” Dr Napthine said.

Minister for Agriculture and Food Security Peter Walsh said the research undertaken at AgriBio would lead to significant on-farm productivity gains and new defences against pests and diseases.

“Scientists at AgriBio will be leading the world in gene discoveries in major plant and animal species and accelerated precision breeding technologies,” Mr Walsh said.

“They will also be at the cutting edge of biological control and other management strategies for weeds, plant and animal pests and serious diseases.

“Victoria is already a national frontrunner in dairy, lamb and grains research with centres of excellence at Ellinbank, Hamilton and Horsham, and AgriBio will complement those centres and help spread our leadership to other commodities.

“Victoria has a goal to double food and fibre production by 2030 and this will only be achieved through investment now in research, development and extension of the kind that will be undertaken here at AgriBio,” Mr Walsh said.

Minister for Major Projects David Hodgett said the facility was Australia’s only integrated agriculture biosciences research centre.

“AgriBio has been specifically designed to enhance collaboration between scientists, and to facilitate a multidisciplinary approach to issues of local, national and international importance,” Mr Hodgett said.

“The facility will increase the competitiveness and sustainability of Victoria’s agriculture industry.

“The building includes one of Australia’s largest physical containment level three suites. The pressurised ‘box within a box’ design of these suites will allow scientists to safely carry out industry-saving research on hazardous viruses.

“It has also been designed to allow scientists to collaborate freely and transfer knowledge,” Mr Hodgett said.

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said the state-of-the-art science centre was an architecturally stunning addition to the Bundoora campus.

“I have no doubt AgriBio will be the crucible of many marvellous new discoveries that will underscore the university’s already formidable reputation for brilliant research,” Professor Dewar said.

“AgriBio’s presence will foster new opportunities for collaboration with leading national and international science organisations as well as being a beacon to people all over the world who want to study cutting-edge agricultural bioscience.”

Agribio is a joint venture between the Victorian Coalition Government and La Trobe University, and is located at the university’s Bundoora campus.