MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (11:28): On Friday the Treasurer and I announced the first grant under the Victorian government’s $350 million Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund. As we said when we launched the fund, this unprecedented level of support for universities will be used to support capital works, applied research and research partnerships that boost Victoria’s productivity and the economy as the state recovers from the impacts of the coronavirus, and this project certainly delivers on that promise.
The Illumina-University of Melbourne Genomics Hub will be the first in the Asia-Pacific region. This $60 million project will bring together the very best expertise and technology in Australia to drive better health research and diagnostics in areas including infectious diseases and early detection of cancer. Located in Melbourne’s biomedical precinct, the hub will benefit from operating alongside more than 40 world-class biomedical organisations, leading hospitals and clinical research leaders, fostering deeper connections in the field. It will give local researchers access to world-class health technologies and support the analysis of vast amounts of data, which will give us a better understanding of human genetics that can be translated into new commercial applications. It will also create job opportunities for hundreds of medical research staff and interns, and support links between industry, research and education.
This project is a fantastic example of the opportunities this government’s new collaboration with universities provides, and I look forward to updating the house on the many other projects we invest in as we support our universities and our state to bounce back from the impacts of COVID-19.