Premier Brumby Launches Building Project
On Tuesday, 16 December 2008, the Premier of Victoria, Mr John Brumby, revealed the shape of the major new building project that will double the size of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Parkville.
The expansion of the institute will intensify the pace of translating new scientific discoveries into more effective diagnostics, treatments and preventative strategies to improve the health of Victorians and people around the world.
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Channel 9 Melbourne News Coverage of the Event
The Premier, together with WEHI Director, Professor Suzanne Cory and WEHI Board President, Mr Leon Davis, unveiled a scale model of the multi-million dollar Walter and Eliza Hall Institute expansion project at Parkville.
After the unveiling of the scale model, Professor Cory said:
"This innovative expansion project, will keep The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute at the forefront internationally in biomedical research and clinical translation. These superb facilities will nurture and inspire brilliant multidisciplinary teams tackling some of the most devastating human diseases, including cancer, malaria and diabetes."
Unveiling the model
Premier Brumby and Minister Jennings with Demolition Vehicles on Site
Earlier in the day, the Premier and the Minister for Innovation, Mr Gavin Jennings, symbolically signalled the demolition phase of the project by knocking over a section of masonry wall on the construction site immediately to the west of the existing institute building.
Mr Leon Davis congratulated the Victorian State Government for its foresight in supporting such a significant infrastructure development with a grant of $50 million, thereby triggering major grants from the Australian Government ($50 million) and Atlantic Philanthropies ($30 million). He also thanked the Ian Potter Foundation and the Drakensberg Trust for their significant financial support for the building fund.
Mr Barrie Marshall said that his company, Denton Corker Marshall, in association with laboratory design experts, S2F, had combined their special talents to create a project that embodied and expressed a contemporary design aesthetic, while being highly functional as a scientific facility. "This is a place where marvellous modern discoveries happen, so we wanted to capture a sense of drama and innovation. Behind the scenes, the buildings will function with the utmost efficiency, in terms of both scientific support and sustainable operating practices."
Premier Brumby and Minister Jennings discuss model with architects
In his remarks, the Premier praised WEHI's achievements in biomedical research and clinical translation. In particular, Mr Brumby mentioned recent significant advances that offer the prospect of far more effective therapies for some cancers.
Mr Brumby also emphasized that the WEHI expansion will create around 530 new full time construction-related jobs over three years and generate capacity for over 400 new scientific jobs once the project is completed. He added that the expansion reflects the Victorian government's commitment to major infrastructure projects and particularly projects involving Victoria's internationally competitive biotechnology sector.