The Federal Government has announced today that it will provide $35 million in funding for world-leading research into investigating dark matter.
Minister for Education, Dan Tehan MP, made the announcement that the funding will go towards the new ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics at the University of Melbourne, which will be led by Professor Elisabetta Barberio.
The centre will take full advantage of the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory (SUPL), which will be built 1025 meters underground at the Stawell Gold Mine.
Mayor of Northern Grampians Shire Council, Cr Kevin Erwin, “Scientists around the world have been trying to discover what dark matter is, and this will be the only particle physics lab in the southern hemisphere, so it’s a great story for Stawell and our region.”
“Mr Tehan has been a wonderful advocate for this exciting project, as has the state government, so the project has certainly enjoyed bipartisan support which has been fantastic to see.”
SUPL had previously received $5 million in funding from both federal and state governments allowing the project to get underway, creating an air of excitement both locally and abroad for what might be found through the groundbreaking research.
Council is also eager to work with the local community to unlock opportunities in education and tourism in relation to the project, given the large amount of interest that has surrounded the laboratory since the funding announcements.
The laboratory can also be used for a broad range of other research purposes, including biological and cancer research, geosciences and other engineering activities.