The Shadow Minister for Higher Education, Steve Herbert, today welcomed the opening of Labor’s $288 million AgriBio centre at Latrobe University by Denis Napthine.

“This visionary project will attract leading researchers from across the world as part of a 400-strong scientific community, which is why Labor committed the $288 million funding and did the hard work to get the project off the ground,” Mr Herbert said.

“The AgriBio centre will put Victoria at the cutting edge of research into food security and supply, and enabling technologies that will ensure that Victorian farmers have a scientific advantage over competitors.

“The new centre began as a vision of former Premiers Steve Bracks and John Brumby.

“It started in 2005 when Labor provided $6 million in seed funding to undertake a feasibility study into a world-class centre for research into bioprotection and agricultural production.

“Labor then backed the full project in October 2007 when Latrobe University signed a Heads of Agreement which secured a contribution of $50 million of state government funding plus the land.

“Today is the culmination of hard work and vision by Latrobe University and the former Labor Governments.”

Mr Herbert welcomed the latest step in the journey of the iconic agriculture biosciences research centre but the Napthine Government needed to outline the next step.

“The new Premier, Denis Napthine and Ministers Hodgett and Walsh were present at the opening of this iconic Labor research institute,” Mr Herbert said.

“But no-one from the government outlined what the next investment was going to be in research and development.

“Mr Napthine needs to outline what the Coalition Government’s vision is for Victorian agribusiness and back it up with funding and action.”

Published on April 9, 2013