Construction is set to begin on the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory (SUPL), creating 19 construction jobs and 15 full time jobs with the laboratory, and establishing Stawell as a regional centre for scientific excellence.
Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford today toured the building site which is being constructed more than one kilometre underground.
The laboratory – the first of its kind in the southern hemisphere – will be used to conduct research into a wide range of sensitive physics and biomedical experiments, including research into ‘dark matter’.
It capitalises on existing infrastructure and creates an innovative new use for the existing gold mine that will create high value, skilled research jobs.
The project is supported by the Northern Grampians Shire Council, the University of Melbourne, the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence in Particle Physics, and the mine owner and operator, Crocodile Mining.
Once operational, the laboratory will bring together international research agencies and boost the reputation of Stawell and Victoria within the international scientific community.
The project is modelled on the Gran Sasso Underground Physics Laboratory in Italy which employs 200 particle physicists and hosts a visiting scientific community to 200 international physicists every year.
The Andrews Labor Government is investing $1.75 million in Stage 1 of the project as part of its election commitment, matched with $1.75 million from the Commonwealth through the National Stronger Regions Fund.
Funding for the project is being provided by the Labor Government’s $500 million Regional Jobs and infrastructure Fund (RJIF), which supports initiatives across regional and rural Victoria that build critical infrastructure, secure jobs, invest in communities and support new and emerging technology.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Regional Development, Jaala Pulford
“The Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory is great news for the community of Stawell. It will be home to hundreds of local jobs and hopefully, the world’s next great scientific discovery.”
“We’re proud to get behind this innovative project, which will boost the region’s international reputation and increase and diversify employment opportunities in Stawell.”
“Our $500 million Regional Jobs and infrastructure Fund supports cutting edge projects like this one, which capitalises on existing infrastructure and ensures regional Victoria remains a great place to live, work and visit.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020