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Budget injection for CSU science hub
13th May 2009
Budget injection for CSU science hub
Charles Sturt University Vice-Chancellor and President, Professor Ian Goulter, today welcomed the clear support of the Government for the inclusion of rural and regional communities in the social and economic opportunities of our nation.
In the 2009/10 Budget Address last night, Federal Treasurer, the Hon. Wayne Swan, MP, and the Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon. Julia Gillard, MP, announced $34 million in new funding for Charles Sturt University for the construction of the National Life Sciences Hub on the Wagga Wagga Campus.
“This is a red letter day for inland and regional Australia,” said Professor Goulter.
“This important announcement shows that this is a Government that is not only prepared to invest in nationally important infrastructure wherever it is needed, but is a Government committed to backing well considered and executed ideas.
“This investment in a $44 million National Life Science Hub at Charles Sturt University confirms its place at the centre of Australia’s future efforts to increase food production, manage water more effectively and reduce the risks associated with the spread of plant and animal diseases as a result of global trade and climate change.
“Charles Sturt University is Australia’s largest provider of agricultural education and is leading Australian research on dryland agriculture, wine science, sustainable agricultural management, river and catchment management, irrigation, veterinary science and plant health.
“Food and the associated soft commodities trade is a $37.8 billion industry and contributes 12 percent of national GDP when the total contribution of the Farm Dependent Economy is considered.
“Agricultural trade is not only essential to Australia’s economic wealth, but guarantees that Australians can eat fresh fruits, vegetables and quality meats every day.
“Worldwide demand for food protein is rapidly expanding and it is essential for Australia to invest in research and development to increase food production capacity, while better managing biosecurity, water usage and climate change risks.
“The National Life Sciences Hub places Charles Sturt University at the centre of this national priority area.
“In challenging financial times, it will also make a significant contribution to economic activity and employment growth across the Riverina-Murray regions of NSW.
“This is an investment in continuing to grow a world class national University in inland Australia,” Professor Goulter said.
National Life Sciences Hub
(Total Cost: $44.17m; Commonwealth Contribution: $34m; NSW Government Contribution: $2.5m)
Charles Sturt University will construct a world-class integrated fundamental–applied science hub in Wagga Wagga that will link Charles Sturt University’s and the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute’s existing applied science facilities through a new basic science laboratory and teaching hub. The new facility will include:
Life Sciences Learning and Teaching Complex ($11.53m) including three 120 student teaching laboratories, PC2 compliant preparation/support facilities, offices, audio visual/information communications technology (ICT) capacity supporting e-learning and remote delivery of large classes to and from the complex with partner laboratories in Australia and internationally.
Life Sciences Collaborative Research Complex ($15.48m) including 45 PC2 level modules configured for undergraduate, Honours and research students to support novel studies in molecular biology, proteomics, biomarker analyses, high through-put nanobody generation, protein crystallography, recombinant vaccines and genetic analysis of plant pathogen virulence and parasite drug resistance.
Glasshouse Complex ($2.05 million) and Controlled-Environment Facilities ($2.22m) to support fundamental research and advanced plant phenotyping to understand the interactions within and between the soil, climate and plant biology.
Integrated Field Laboratory ($4m) including Rhizolysimeters and Automated Rainout Shelters to support field analysis of ecosystem interactions with crop species and crop-based farming systems.
Laboratory Support Facilities ($1.41m), Office Accommodation ($2.88m), Key Support Services and Infrastructure (IT, Optic Fibre, Electrical Substation, Utilities) ($2.1m).
The Department of Primary Industries will commit a further $2.5m for the construction of glasshouses and refurbishment of older laboratories on their immediately adjacent premises.
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