MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (13:25): Last week I was pleased to visit Swinburne University of Technology’s Hawthorn campus with my Legislative Council colleagues Nina Taylor, Sonja Terpstra and Enver Erdogan and local member for Hawthorn John Kennedy MP to announce the Andrews Labor government’s $5.2 million contribution to secure Victoria’s largest supercomputer. The supercomputer is a huge asset to our state’s science and research community and for Victorians in general. It has the capacity to analyse and process data a million times faster than a standard computer. It will allow astronomers to monitor space in detail and assist researchers in a broad array of areas, including bushfire detection, natural disaster planning and response, neuroscience, cancer detection and defence.
I was particularly pleased to meet with Grace Lawrence and Adam Batten, PhD students in astrophysics at Swinburne, who explained to me what the investment means to them. As students and researchers, when they create simulations of the universe or analyse dark matter on a normal computer, it can take more than a year. Harnessing the capacity of the new supercomputer, it will take about a week. This is why Labor continues to invest in our universities and in science and innovation. This is another exciting project provided out of the $350 million the Victorian state government has contributed to the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund. I, like so many other Victorians, look forward to seeing the impact of this new infrastructure driving research and innovation in space technology, medicine, the environment and defence in years to come.