Release type: Media Release


BUDGET 2009-10: Investing in tertiary education and research infrastructure


The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Social Inclusion
Deputy Prime Minister

The Rudd Government will inject almost $3 billion into tertiary education and innovation infrastructure through the Education Investment Fund (EIF).

This will position the tertiary education and innovation sectors to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities of the new education and innovation environment.

This major investment will also stimulate economic activity in the short term, while expanding productivity in the medium to long term.

The Government has approved 31 projects selected from over 160 applications received through Round 2 of the EIF worth $934 million.

In February 2009 eligible higher education providers, vocational education providers and research institutions were encouraged to submit Second Round applications for innovative and transformative projects to help equip Australians with the high-level skills and knowledge necessary in an increasingly competitive global economy.

Successful Round 2 projects span the teaching, learning and research spectrum, as well as a variety of disciplinary areas including engineering, medicine, marine science, transport and the traditional trades.

Twelve successful projects are for vocational education and training infrastructure, 11 are for higher education teaching and learning facilities and eight are for research infrastructure. Taking account of investment by the project proponents, the total value of the 31 projects is $1.8 billion.

The Government has also announced a nominal allocation of $500 million for Round 3, which will include around $200 million for projects to help universities, in some cases through partnerships with vocational education and training (VET) providers, to adjust to the new directions in higher education announced in the Budget.

The Government will also undertake a special $650 million Sustainability Round of the Education Investment Fund.

The funding will be open to VET and higher education and research institutions and will support projects that feature sustainable design, energy efficiency and build capability for climate change related research.

This will transform our tertiary campuses into 21st century environments that will not only play a key role in delivering a sustainable future through teaching and research but also act as demonstration sites for new and emerging technologies and enable them to be tested at scale.

The supplementary EIF Sustainability Round includes:

  • $400m for research infrastructure related to the Clean Energy Initiative
  • $250m for VET, higher education and research infrastructure related to climate change and sustainability activities.

As part of the Rudd Government's commitment to creating and supporting the jobs of the future, the planned allocation of $2.5 billion into the Education Investment Fund will be allocated to the groundbreaking Clean Energy Initiative.

This new initiative will place Australia at the forefront of the response to climate and drive research in clean energy.

As part of the Government’s response to the Review of the National Innovation System, $1.1 billion will also be provided for the Super Science Initiative. Of this, $901 million will come from the EIF for the capital components. This initiative will provide funding for large-scale nation-building projects allowing Australia to be at the forefront of the global research community.

Together these projects will advance the Rudd Government’s priority of creating a world-leading tertiary education and innovation sector in Australia.

A full list of the successful projects is attached and further information on the EIF is available at:

Applications for Round 3 of the EIF will open later this year and successful projects will be announced in early 2010.

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Higher Education Teaching and Learning

Gateway @ COFA at the University of New South Wales, Paddington - $48 million

Gateway@COFA will transform art and design education in Australia. The flexible, digitally-equipped facilities will build teaching capacity while facilitating leadership in creativity and innovation for students, professionals, the community and the global knowledge economy. This redevelopment will include new and refitted teaching space, a large experimentation/installation gallery, a learning commons, and a dramatic new building façade linking the campus to its surrounding inner-Sydney streetscape.

Leadership in Advanced Surgical Education at Macquarie University, North Ryde - $16.638 million

This project will transform aspects of post-specialisation medical training in Australia as well as providing cutting-edge facilities for Macquarie’s allied health students. The funding will provide additional facilities for the Australian School of Advanced Medicine (ASAM) including training facilities for microvascular neurosurgery, a patient simulation centre and integrated audiovisual and information technologies.

National Life Sciences Hub (NaLSH): An Integrated Science Hub in Food Security, Plant and Animal Health for Inland Australia at Charles Sturt University, Wagga Wagga - $34 million

The National Life Sciences Hub will address skill shortages in agriculture and related life science disciplines, boost education and research capacity in rural New South Wales and improve links with schools and TAFEs. The interdisciplinary Hub will include a Life Sciences Teaching and Learning Complex, a Life Sciences Collaborative Research Complex, a Glasshouse Complex, Controlled-Environment Facilities, an Integrated Field Laboratory and the largest and most sophisticated Rhizolysimeter in the world, which will be used for cutting-edge bioinformatics research.

La Trobe University Rural Health School at La Trobe University, Bendigo - $59.6 million

La Trobe will construct three facilities: the Health Sciences Facility at La Trobe’s Bendigo Campus, the Clinical Teaching Facility co-located with the Monash School of Rural Health on the site of Bendigo Hospital, and student accommodation for students undertaking clinical placements at Wodonga, Shepparton, Echuca, Swan Hill and Bendigo. This project will create significant educational, social and economic value through a sustainable program that increases higher education participation rates in northern Victoria.

Science and Engineering Precinct at University of Ballarat, Mount Helen - $39.97 million

The University of Ballarat will rebuild its Science and Engineering precinct to establish a world-class regional learning, teaching and research facility. The new three storey building will enable science and engineering disciplines to collaborate and interact in a new multi-disciplinary environment. The facility will accommodate staff, students and researchers from the University’s mining, engineering and environmental science disciplines.

Transforming Graduate Learning Spaces - A New Delivery Model for Professional Education in Australia at the University of Melbourne, Parkville - $16.278 million

This project will allow the University of Melbourne to fast track a major program of capital works to transform existing traditional teaching facilities into world class, new-generation, twenty-first century professional learning spaces. These changes will be complemented by the development of a Learning Environment Spatial Laboratory, a centre focussed directly on the development of new-generation learning facilities across all educational sectors and disciplines.

Advanced Engineering Building at the University of Queensland, St Lucia - $50 million

This project will position the University of Queensland’s engineering programs at the forefront of national and international teaching capability. It will transform engineering education by using world-first multi-purpose, active learning spaces to integrate research, postgraduate training and undergraduate teaching.

Science and Technology Precinct at Queensland University of Technology, Gardens Point - $75 million

The Science and Technology Precinct will be a national focal point for renewal and growth of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. The Precinct, which includes two multi-storey buildings for teaching and related facilities, will provide contemporary, flexible spaces that encourage interdisciplinary learning in a collaborative setting.

Engineering Pavilion at Curtin University of Technology, Bentley - $20.5 million

This student-focused learning centre will bring together in one interactive environment students from all disciplines of Engineering studies and facilitate transformational approaches to teaching and learning. The centre will be composed of two building wings located around an exhibition plaza with an open studio style that facilitates peer learning and combines laboratories, amenities, and areas for interaction into a suite of integrated spaces.

Establishment of the Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Education at Charles Darwin University, Casuarina - $30.65 million

Charles Darwin University (CDU) and the Batchelor Institute for Indigenous Tertiary Education will jointly deliver the Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Education. The Centre is a unique, collaborative venture that will transform teaching, learning, and research outcomes for Indigenous Australians. The Centre will include a new multistorey building on the Casuarina Campus of CDU which will incorporate an IT-enabled Literacy Laboratory, shared teaching spaces, Indigenous support and advisory staff front counters, gallery space, and student accommodation. The project also includes the purchase of two new Mobile Adult Learning Units to facilitate face-to-face instruction in remote communities.

Stage 2 of the ANU Science Transformation: The Chemical Sciences Hub at the Australian National University, Acton - $90 million

The Chemical Sciences Hub will raise the standard of education and research in the enabling sciences and will enable a significant increase in numbers of graduates with high-quality experimental skills. The building will house the physical chemistry, biological chemistry and synthetic chemistry laboratories and will include eight wet laboratories for undergraduate students across the chemistry and bioscience disciplines, 150 seat and 50 seat flexible learning spaces, outdoor teaching areas and smaller group rooms.

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Skillsets for a Low Carbon Economy Centre, Bathurst - $5 million

The Skillsets for a Low Carbon Economy Centre will be a purpose-built training centre that focuses on carbon efficiency and assists businesses across a range of local industries to manage their carbon reductions. It will feature cutting edge teaching and learning equipment for research and will deliver courses from Certificates II through to IV in Electrotechnology, Engineering, Horticulture, Agriculture, Automotive Services and Construction. Heavy Vehicle Facilities at TAFE NSW Western Institute, Dubbo - $9.69 million

The Western Institute’s Heavy Vehicle Training Centre will transform the heavy vehicle industry in Western New South Wales. The Centre will increase industry involvement across the region and enable the delivery of a wider range of much needed services to the transport industry.

Macarthur Building Skills Centre at TAFE NSW South Western Sydney Institute, Ingleburn - $9.9 million

The Macarthur Building Skills Centre will make a significant contribution to current and emerging labour market needs and regional economic growth in the South Western Sydney region. The Institute will purchase and refurbish a building that will house a specialist facility for emerging areas of construction, advanced manufacturing including toolmaking and machining, and specialist engineering services.

Rural VET Infrastructure to Ensure Social Inclusion, Sustainable Land Use, Lower Carbon Agriculture, and Efficient Water Use at Tocal College, Paterson - $5.5 million

Tocal College’s Rural VET Infrastructure project will substantially address skills shortages in the agriculture and land management workforces and provide expanded training opportunities to students from isolated and remote rural communities. This project will upgrade VET training spaces, enhance short-stay accommodation facilities, upgrade residential facilities, and improve both physical access and IT infrastructure.

Shellharbour Campus Children's Services Training Facility at TAFE NSW Illawarra Institute, Shellharbour - $6.5 million

The Shellharbour Campus Children’s Services Training Facility will be a purpose-built facility that will transform the Illawarra Institute’s capacity to deliver training in early childhood development. The new state-of-the-art facilities will allow the Institute to deliver training based on the current standards used in the child care industry and incorporate new teaching and learning technologies. It will ensure that students can work in a simulated work environment and participate in actual work placement while on campus.

Learning Centre at Energy Australia, Silverwater - $25 million

The Learning Centre will be home to the Energy Efficiency Centre: an interactive educational facility designed to educate students, builders and the public about the possibilities and benefits of ‘building green’. The project will enhance the capacity of EnergyAustralia to conduct research and training that will support the implementation of new initiatives in the power industry.

Sustainable Hydraulic Trade Centre at TAFE NSW Sydney Institute, Randwick - $6.439 million

The TAFE NSW Sydney Institute will establish a Sustainable Hydraulic Trade Centre for plumbing and related building trades which will develop green skills and model green technologies in areas of identified skills need. Funding will be used to redesign and refurbish an existing building to provide significantly enhanced training capacity.

Campus Development at Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE (GippsTAFE), Chadstone - $16.15 million

GippsTAFE will construct three new buildings and refurbish existing facilities to supply training for the energy, gas, telecommunications and safety industries. This project will establish a world-class 21st century training and education facility in an area of identified skills need.

Manufacturing Technology Training Centre at University of Ballarat, Ballarat - $18.091 million

The Manufacturing Technology Training Centre will provide modern training facilities, both expanding and enhancing the University of Ballarat’s delivery of courses in emerging manufacturing technologies. The introduction of state-of-the-art learning technology will address an area of skills shortage within the region, by providing job-ready graduates who are familiar with current industry practice.

New Facility for Childhood Development, Vocational College, and Related Services at Holmesglen Institute of TAFE, Waverley - $16.8 million

This new building will house specialised teaching facilities to cater for unmet student demand for training in children’s and community services, as well as a Vocational College to provide alternative pathways for at-risk school students.

Training Facilities for the 'Traditional Trades' at Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE, Echuca - $5 million

Bendigo Regional Institute of TAFE will construct a purpose-built building on its existing Echuca campus that will facilitate up-to-date teaching practices. The facilities will be used for training in electrotechnology, automotive, engineering, construction and plumbing.

Mobile Trades School Training Facilities at Industries Services Training Pty Ltd, Darwin and across the Northern Territory - $7.89 million

The Mobile Traditional Trades Training Facility presents an opportunity to invest in innovative trades training delivery in the Northern Territory. Industries Services Training will equip two road-trains as mobile trades school to deliver training in a range of national skill shortage areas, including accredited courses from Certificate II to IV and vehicle and plant licensing programs. The industry sectors to be covered by the mobile trades schools include civil and general construction, mining, transport and logistics, and oil and gas.


Australian Institute for Innovation Materials (AIIM) - Processing and Devices at University of Wollongong, Innovation Campus, Fairy Meadow - $43.8 million

The University of Wollongong will construct and equip a state-of-the-art building next to the University's existing Australian Institute for Innovative Materials (AIIM) at its Innovation Campus at Fairy Meadow, NSW. This facility will transform multifunctional materials research and commercialisation by taking existing and emerging fundamental research beyond the scale-up and proof-of-concept stage.

Building the Sydney Institute of Marine Science into a World Class Marine Research Facility in support of Australia's National Research Priorities at Sydney Institute of Marine Science, Chowder Bay - $19.5 million

This project will support a major enhancement and upgrade of SIMS' facilities in order to build it into a world class marine research facility. By bringing together New South Wales’ leading marine scientists at one collaborative site, this project will maximise the efficient use of resources for research on Australia’s critical coastal environments. All existing infrastructure will be enhanced across five main areas: research aquarium and seawater facilities, laboratories, administration and accommodation, research training facilities, and research infrastructure.

Centre of Climate Change and Energy Research at University of Western Sydney, Richmond - $40.0 million

The University of Western Sydney will establish the Centre for Climate Change and Energy Research (CCCER) at the Hawkesbury campus, which will provide empirical data to assess the impact of climate change on Australia’s land and water resources and assist the nation to adapt to a carbon-constrained economy.

National Centre for Synchrotron Science: Outreach and Research Support Facilities at Australian Synchrotron, Clayton - $36.78 million

The Australian Synchrotron is the nation’s single largest scientific user facility; providing a broad range of scientific, engineering and medical researchers with world’s-best analytical facilities. Funding for this two storey building will enable the Synchrotron to better meet the needs of researchers currently using the synchrotron, as well as enabling the expansion of the synchrotron through additional beamlines.

The Centre for Neural Engineering at the University of Melbourne, Parkville - $17.515 million

The Centre for Neural Engineering will comprise three infrastructure components: fit-out and engineering research equipment for an Engineering node and Directorate, neuroscience research equipment for a Neuroscience node, and a new building for a Data Centre equipped with data storage equipment, cooling and data backup capabilities. The project will enable researchers to collaboratively study biological neural networks to develop new ways to combat neurological diseases, such as epilepsy, and contribute to development of next generation biotechnologies and neural prostheses, such as the bionic eye.

The La Trobe Institute for Molecular Sciences at La Trobe University, Bundoora - $64.1 million

The La Trobe Institute for Molecular Sciences (LIMS) will be a world-class facility for molecular science, biotechnology and nanotechnology research and research training. LIMS will align with the broader Northern Melbourne Science precinct and generate an economically significant biotechnology research and development hub in northern Melbourne.

Smart State Medical Research Centre at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, Hurston - $55.0 million

The expansion of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research involves the construction of a new flagship 13 storey 23,000 m2 building that includes ten dedicated floors of laboratory and research facilities and one floor for education/teaching/skills programs. The building will enhance recruitment of Australia’s next generation of researchers and technicians and provide additional capacity for collaborative research.

Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies at University of Tasmania, Hobart - $45.0 million

The University of Tasmania will construct an iconic building on Hobart’s waterfront to house the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies. The facility is expected to create a critical mass of marine scientists in Hobart allowing collocation of research teams in a marine science precinct. It will build a platform for Australia's research in temperate water, Southern Ocean and Antarctic marine science.