Research hub for Murdoch

A NEW $350 million biosecurity and research hub at Murdoch University won’t impact on an adjoining banksia reserve.

Late last year the McGowan government announced the primary industries and regional development’s new research facility would be co-located on Murdoch’s campus, housing around 350 staff.

The research facility would include laboratories, specialised outbuilding, glasshouses and field plots, and will sit within Murdoch’s existing agricultural precinct.

Murdoch vice chancellor Andrew Deeks said the co-location would result in enhanced collaboration between all WA universities involved in agricultural research, sharing data and more opportunities for students to engage in industry research and internships.

“It’s an opportunity to work together as a research community, where we are more likely to succeed in solving some of the huge challenges we face in providing sustainably produced food for a growing global population.”

Prof Deeks said the uni and department had previously worked together on initiatives such as the Western Crop Genetics Alliance which helped develop new crops for WA farms.

The agricultural precinct sits next to a sensitive banksia woodland, but a spokesperson from Murdoch said no native vegetation would be cleared to make way for the new facility.

“The only relocations will affect Murdoch staff and facilities, with the new research facility absorbing a small area of the existing Algae Research Centre,” the spokesperson said.

by STEVE GRANT

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