BOOST FOR BILLION DOLLAR BOULEVARD OF MEDICAL EXCELLENCE

World leading medical research centre Bio21 has received the go-ahead for its landmark $140 million expansion project.

Bio21, a molecular science and biotechnology research centre based at the University of Melbourne, is an internationally renowned facility that specialises in medical, agricultural and environmental biotechnology.

Minister for Planning Richard Wynne has now approved stage 2B of Bio21, which will allow for another 140 scientists and students to be accommodated in a new four storey, state-of-the-art facility within the Parkville Biomedical Precinct.

Already, Bio21 is one of the largest biotech research centers in the country, with about 560 research scientists, students and staff.

Mr Wynne said he expedited the planning process for the Bio21 extension in keeping with the Andrews Labor Government’s promise to support resources and facilities to keep Victoria at the forefront of medical research and development.

Victorian Labor Governments have supported Bio 21 since its inception in 2002. The then-Brumby Labor Government kick-started the facility by gifting land worth $15 million for it to be built on, and then-Premier Steve Bracks officially opened the flagship project in 2005.

The Labor Government is committed to growing Victoria’s pre-eminence as a hub for medical research.

In the 2015-16 Victorian Budget, the Government invested $25 million to establish a genomic sequencing program to provide earlier diagnosis and more personalised treatment for Victorians with rare diseases; $15 million to plan and commence early works of the Victorian Heart Hospital, Australia’s first specialist cardiac hospital; and $2 million to plan and develop a National Centre for Proton Beam Therapy.

Mr Wynne said the approval of plans was another move by a Labor Government to encourage medical research in Victoria, and it is only Labor Governments that have delivered the support and resources Victoria needs to remain a smart, healthy and innovative place to live and work.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Planning Richard Wynne

“The former Brumby Government began this project by donating the land the Centre sits on, and I’m proud to now be able to greenlight the next stage of this world renowned education and research facility.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“We have some of the best health and medical researchers in the world right here in Victoria, and we want to do everything we can to support them so that they can continue to develop new and faster diagnostic tools and discover new treatments and cures.”

Quotes attributable to the Parliamentary Secretary for Medical Research Frank McGuire

“Our Government is working hard to boost the Parkville Biomedical Precinct, which is fast becoming a billion dollar boulevard of medical innovation and excellence.”

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