Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford today announced an Andrews Labor Government grant of $1.75 million towards the development of the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory – Stage 1.
The project delivers on an election commitment to deliver a world class low background radiation underground physics laboratory.
A first of its kind in the southern hemisphere, the laboratory will be more than one kilometre underground, to conduct research into ‘dark matter’ and sensitive physics and biomedical experiments in the Stawell Gold Mine (SGM).
It will capitalise on existing infrastructure and introduces an innovative new use for the mine creating high value, skilled research jobs. The lab will provide links to the scientific community and increase the international profile of Stawell and the Grampians region.
Underground site works are scheduled to commence in early 2016.
Funding for this project is provided through the Government’s $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund (RJIF), which aims to fund projects that harness key regional strengths to improve the productivity and liveability of regional Victoria.
The project also aligns with the Government’s Back to Work Plan priorities by developing an internationally connected research laboratory that aims to utilise or create technologies to grow local industries.
The balance of funding for the project ($1.75 million) will be provided by the Commonwealth through the National Stronger Regions Fund (NSRF).
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford
“The development of the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory will not only boost the region’s international reputation, but also increase and diversify employment opportunities in Stawell.”
“The Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund will make sure our regional communities are getting the support they need to grow and prosper.”
Quotes attributable to the Mayor, Northern Grampians Shire Council, Cr Murray Emerson
“The Stawell underground Physics Laboratory is an international opportunity, not only for our region but for the whole of Australia.
“We are very pleased the Victorian Government is getting behind this innovative opportunity, and we at the Northern Grampians Shire will make sure that it comes to fruition.”