A trio of projects worth $22.1 million and funded by the Andrews Labor Government will position Deakin University at the forefront of water and aquaculture research and push the boundaries of water sustainability in Australia.
Minister for Higher Education Gayle Tierney today visited the Marine Science Centre at Queenscliff to launch the projects as part of the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund (VHESIF).
They include both capital works and applied research:
- A new $9.8 million state-of-the-art AquaFI Hub innovation centre to explore animal nutrition and environment to support the expansion of fish and seafood farming, run in part by AI technology.
- A $7.8 million water management upgrade at the Waurn Ponds campus, including upgraded stormwater and recycled water infrastructure, for applied research and to demonstrate sustainable practices in management in collaboration with Traditional Owners.
- A $4.5 million redevelopment of the Marine Science Centre at Queenscliff to establish it as the centre of excellence for temperate water marine science research and education in southern Australia. Works include new laboratories, teaching facilities and a high-speed optic fibre internet network for the community.
The projects will provide great opportunities for staff and students, in collaboration with Traditional Owners. It will also boost enrolments and create scholarship opportunities, 50 per cent of which will be offered to women.
Melbourne-based Root Partnerships will oversee construction, which will begin this year and finish mid-2022.
The Labor Government contributed $6 million to the projects in a joint effort with Deakin University. It is one of many pitches from universities to the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund, which was developed in response to the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector.
The unprecedented $350 million VHESIF is supporting universities with capital works, research infrastructure projects and applied research focused on boosting Victoria’s productivity and economy as the state recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
As stated by Minster for Higher Education Gayle Tierney
“These exciting projects will push the boundaries of water science research but also provide great learning and job opportunities for Victorians.”
As stated by Member for South Barwon Darren Cheeseman
“This investment will put Geelong at the forefront of water and aquaculture research – and ensure a sustainable future for Victoria and the nation.”
As stated by Deakin University Vice-Chancellor Professor Iain Martin
“These projects are an extension of our investment in regional Victoria and commitment to sustainability and will also enhance our existing research capabilities.”