29/06/2009 - 12:56

State commits $3m for science building

29/06/2009 - 12:56

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The state government will contribute $3 million towards a new science building at the University of WA's Albany Campus, with half of the funds to come from the royalties for regions program.

State commits $3m for science building

The state government will contribute $3 million towards a new science building at the University of WA's Albany Campus, with half of the funds to come from the royalties for regions program.

Premier Colin Barnett, who is in Albany today, said the facility will be a boost to higher education in the Great Southern region.

Funds from both the Department of Education Services and the royalties for regions program will be made over three years.

 

The announcement is below:

 

The State Government will contribute $3million towards a new sciences building at The University of WA's Albany campus.

Premier Colin Barnett said the new facility would be a major boost to higher education in the Great Southern region.

He said the State Government's commitment to the project included $1.5million over three years through the Royalties for Regions program and $1.5million from the Department of Education Services.

"This is a $6million development that will provide some exciting opportunities and great benefits for the people of Albany and surrounding regions," Mr Barnett said.

"The new building and its associated research and teaching programs will give the Albany community better access to a tertiary education at one of Australia's best universities."

The new 1,000 square metre building would provide additional classrooms, a science-medical library and 12 academic offices. It would also:

- provide a boost for the Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management in earth and environmental sciences in the Great Southern Region
- allow for an expansion of the Rural Clinical School, where budding doctors can spend a year of their training in rural medicine
- provide additional space for research staff and postgraduate students
- provide more teaching and laboratory space for existing programs and future growth.

Education Minister Liz Constable said the new facility would allow UWA to offer more Albany-based courses and provide an additional incentive for young people to study - and remain - in the local community.

"The expansion of the Rural Clinical School will provide a direct benefit to the social infrastructure of Albany and surrounding areas," Dr Constable said.

"Medical students from UWA and the University of Notre Dame will have year-long placements in Albany, allowing them to engage with the local community and reverse the drain of students to Perth."

The Premier said the Royalties for Regions funding would be provided through the first round of the Regional Grants Scheme announced in Albany today.

He said $500,000 would be provided for the new building in the first round, with another $500,000 to be allocated in each of the next two years of the grants scheme.

"The key goals of the Regional Grants Scheme are to attract investment, increase jobs and improve the quality of life in regional Western Australia," Mr Barnett said.

"The funding for the new sciences building will bring some great benefits that fit perfectly with these goals for people in regional areas.

"They include employment opportunities with the design, construction and fit-out of the building and the opportunity for at least eight new academic, technical and administrative staff when the building is finished.

"Other direct employment and economic outcomes can be anticipated as a direct result of research into commercialisation of native plants at the university."

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