News & Media

Biosciences project on track

The Brumby Labor Government’s $230 million biosciences centre project is on track to play a pivotal role in the rapid detection and eradication of animal and plant disease outbreaks.
Major Projects Minister Tim Pallas was joined by Member for Bundoora Colin Brooks today to inspect construction of AgriBio, the Centre for AgriBioscience, in Bundoora.
“The Brumby Labor Government understands the importance of investing in agricultural research and is building for the future by investing in job-creating projects like the Centre for AgriBioscience,” Mr Pallas said.
“AgriBio will bring together the state’s top scientists and researchers in ‘super labs’ to centralise the state’s scientific and research effort.
“Importantly this vital infrastructure project is also estimated to generate 390 jobs and inject around $620 million into the Victorian economy during construction.
“The project is coming along well, with the new centre is expected to be fully operational in 2012.”
Agriculture Minister Joe Helper said the joint initiative between the Brumby Labor Government and La Trobe University would deliver a unique multidisciplinary approach to researching issues of local, national and international importance.
“The state-of-the-art centre will support the science necessary for state-wide response to disease outbreaks and infestations, as well as developing new drought free crops and other scientific advances to support the $11.8 billion agricultural industry,” Mr Helper said.
Member for Bundoora Colin Brooks said the new centre would create vital flow-on benefits to Melbourne’s north, not only during construction but for many years to come.
“AgriBio will accommodate up to 400 scientists, students and support staff from the Department of Primary Industries and the La Trobe University, as well as attracting world leading scientists,’ Mr Brooks said.
Acting La Trobe University Vice Chancellor Professor Tim Brown said AgriBio would put Victoria at the forefront of innovation and agricultural research.
“AgriBio will significantly contribute to the protection of agriculture from disease threats, improve primary industries’ competitiveness and sustainability, and focus efforts on addressing challenges including climate change and drought,” Professor Brown said.
In August this year the Brumby Labor Government announced a further 30 jobs would be created to build the $128 million Dairy Futures Cooperative Research Centre as part of AgriBio, to provide Victoria’s dairy farmers with cutting-edge research to improve productivity and competitiveness.