Australia’s medical research capacity has received a boost with the opening of the $6.1 million Geelong Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases Research Hub in Victoria.
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the Australian Government’s $3 million contribution towards the project had already paid dividends.
“Our investment is expected to indirectly create 137 new jobs for residents and world-leading researchers alike, providing an important economic boost to the community and continuing our commitment to deliver economic growth,” Mr McCormack said.
“The works have included the addition of a cytotoxic area for handling toxic agents, a state-of-the-art containment laboratory, highly specialised equipment, and a new laboratory and wet lab space.
“Improving our understanding of how infectious diseases work – how they are transmitted, how they attack the body, how they can be treated – will pay dividends through improved national health outcomes.”
Federal Member for Corangamite Sarah Henderson, who opened the facility today, said science and innovation would help drive economic prosperity in the region, with the region supporting a range of industries from aeronautical services to manufacturing.
“This research hub has the potential to deliver innovative treatments and prevention measures for many infectious diseases, including hepatitis, tuberculosis and polio. I am delighted to see this centre now open and working on research which will serve the public good,” Ms Henderson said.
“The Geelong Centre is a 21st century research hub for a 21st century economy. It will be an important medical research facility for Australia and I’m proud that the Geelong region will be leading the way to provide an improved understanding of infectious diseases to save lives.”
“It will also assist with creating new possibilities and opportunities for supporting industries to establish a presence near the centre.
City of Greater Geelong Mayor Darryn Lyons said the hub was an important piece of social and economic infrastructure in the local community.
“Two key employers in this area are Deakin University and Barwon Health, both of which invested a significant amount of money into this project. This hub will be heavily used by both organisations, whether that be teaching students or embarking on ground-breaking research,” Cr Lyons said.
The project was funded under the $350 million Community Development Grants Programme. The funding partners were the Australian Government ($3 million), Deakin University ($2 million), Barwon Health ($1 million) and City of Greater Geelong ($100,000).