The Australian Government is investing $41 million to upgrade facilities and research capabilities at the Defence Science and Technology Organisation site at Fishermans Bend in Melbourne.
Assistant Minister for Defence Stuart Robert today turned the first sod to mark the start of construction on DSTO’s Security and Facilities Upgrade Project. Cockram Constructions Pty Ltd has been appointed the Head Contractor for the project.
“Defence demand for scientific support has increased considerably in recent years and DSTO requires modern and expanded facilities to meet the challenges associated with developing new technologies,” Mr Robert said.
“This upgrade project will give DSTO access to state-of-the-art research facilities to support Defence and our national security agencies, particularly in countering chemical, biological and radiological threats.
“When the upgrade project is completed in 2016, DSTO scientists will have highly secure, purpose-built facilities to continue their cutting-edge research that will support Defence requirements.”
During his visit Mr Robert was briefed by the Steering Committee of Medical Countermeasures Products Australia, an industry-led initiative that aims todevelop national capability and support the activities undertaken by the Departments of Defence and Health as part of the Medical Countermeasures Consortium involving Australia, the USA, the United Kingdom and Canada.
Through the consortium, Australia works with allies in the defence and public health sectors to manage the consequences of pandemics, emerging infectious diseases and incidents involving chemical, biological and radiological threats.
“The Government supports the Medical Countermeasures Products Australia initiative as it represents a partnership between the public and private sector to build an effective capability in medical countermeasures that will benefit both the civilian and military sectors,” Mr Robert said.
“DSTO will play an important role in this partnership and the upgraded facilities in Melbourne will be pivotal in achieving an enhanced protective capability against life-threatening diseases and toxic materials.”
Richard Briedis (Minister Robert's Office) (02) 6277 7730 or 0477 391 174
Defence Media Operations (02) 6127 1999