Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

400 jobs secured by $45 million neuroscience project

Joint Media Release with:

  • The Hon John Brumby MP, Premier of Victoria

Future advances in mental heath and neurological research – and around 400 jobs – will be supported with the construction of a new $45 million neuroscience research building at the Austin Hospital.

Victorian Premier John Brumby and Federal Community Services Minister Jenny Macklin today turned the first sod at the Austin Neuroscience Facility which will create 200 construction jobs over two years and support another 200 new and ongoing science jobs once complete.

Mr Brumby said the facility would form part of a $225 million centre for neuroscience and mental health research that would rival the world’s largest and best.

‘The Victorian Government is taking action to support our world-class medical researchers and to invest in innovative projects that secure the state’s economy, ‘Mr Brumby said.

‘Brain and mind disorders affect 26 per cent of all Australians. Investment in the Austin Neuroscience Facility will enable Victoria and Australia to save lives and improve quality of life for thousands of people.

‘These disorders also have significant financial impacts. If we were to reduce the incidence of schizophrenia by 25 per cent per year, Florey Neuroscience Institutes estimates indicate a savings of $500 million and reducing Alzheimer’s disease by the same amount indicates savings of $1 billion per year.

‘The Austin Neuroscience Facility will bring together recognised world leaders in epilepsy, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and brain-imaging into a single, purpose-built site and will ensure Victoria remains at the forefront of international biomedical research.’

The $45 million Austin Neuroscience Facility is the first stage of the $225 million Australian Centre for Neuroscience and Mental Health Research. The Victorian Government is contributing a total of $53 million to the centre with the Commonwealth Government committing $77 million.

Ms Macklin said the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to the Australian Centre for Neuroscience and Mental Health had ensured the project could start quickly.

‘The new infrastructure will harness Victoria’s neuroscience resources into a single collaborative project using the existing strengths and talents of the institutions involved, ‘Ms Macklin said.

‘The Rudd Government is investing significantly in health and medical research including a $3.2 billion package of health infrastructure projects to take us into the 21st century.

‘This includes more than $430 million for medical research infrastructure to help turn research into solutions for some of our most difficult medical challenges.’

Victorian Innovation Minister Gavin Jennings also welcomed the start of works on this important project.

‘The Austin Neuroscience Facility will help consolidate research and clinical experts, facilitate collaboration and develop leading technologies to advance medical research and clinical practice, ‘Mr Jennings said.

‘Housing staff from the Florey Neuroscience Institutes, the University of Melbourne and the Mental Health Research Institute, this facility will help attract and retain some of the world’s most talented scientists while enhancing our ability to collaborate with scientific and commercial partners.’