Ministers’ Statements: Bio21

Ministers’ Statements
Legislative Assembly
1 September 2015

Mr Wynne (Minister for Planning) — I am pleased to inform the house of a new planning approval which supports the Andrews Labor government’s commitment to health, innovation and investment. I have approved a $140 million development to expand Bio21, Victoria’s world-class molecular science and biotechnology research centre at the University of Melbourne in Flemington Road.

Bio21, as we all know, is an internationally renowned facility specialising in medical, agricultural and environmental biotechnology. It is one of the largest biotech research centres in the country, with about 560 research scientists, students and staff. This stage of Bio21, which I have approved, will allow for another 140 scientists and students in a four-storey, state-of-the-art facility. We are making sure that Melbourne remains a world leader in medical research. Labor has supported Bio21 since its genesis. A $50 million kickstart provided by the Bracks Labor government included the land on which the facility was built.

Labor governments have built the Parkville employment cluster — a billion-dollar boulevard offering some of the best health and research facilities in the country. It includes the magnificent Royal Children’s Hospital — a Labor project; a complete rebuild of the Royal Women’s Hospital — a Labor project; and the world-leading comprehensive cancer centre — a Labor project. This is what Labor governments do. We made clear promises to encourage research, boost health services and drive education, and that is what we are getting on with.