Deakin and state team up on water-based projects

April 29, 2021 BY

South Barwon MP Darren Cheeseman, Deakin vice-chancellor Professor Iain Martin, Minister for Training, Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney and Corangamite federal member Libby Coker. Photo: REG RYAN

DEAKIN University and the Victorian Government have splashed $22.1 million on a partnership to deliver a trio of projects in water management, aquaculture and marine science.

State Minister for Training, Skills and Higher Education Gayle Tierney joined Deakin vice-chancellor Professor Iain Martin and deputy vice-chancellor for research Professor Julie Owens at Deakin’s Marine Science Centre in Queenscliff for the launch on Friday last week.

Deakin, the Victorian Government through its Higher Education State Investment Fund (VHESIF), and project partners Australian Academic and Research Network, City of Greater Geelong and Barwon Water will support the three aquatic-based announcements, each designed to enhance Deakin’s existing research capabilities and facilities while creating local jobs.

The three projects are:

  • A $4.5 million upgrade of the teaching and research laboratories at the Queenscliff Marine Science Centre to establish the facility as the flagship site for the Deakin Marine Science research strategy and the Bachelor of Marine Science, and works to tap into the AARNet network to provide low-cost access to an ultra high-speed network for education and not-for-profit organisations in the Bellarine Peninsula
  • The $9.8 million AquAFI Hub at Deakin’s Waurn Ponds campus, which will be a state-of-the-art aquaculture research innovation centre to position Victoria as a leader in aquaculture research and training, identifying breakthrough mechanisms to enhance industry growth and create jobs in Victoria and across Australia, and
  • $7.8 million on Integrated Water Management, to position Deakin to explore the benefits of alternate water sources that are fit-for-purpose, which will include input from Traditional Owners, the Wadawurrung, on the landscape masterplan and the revegetation and management of the natural waterways across the Waurn Ponds campus.

These three projects will create 48 jobs and are expected to be operating by the end of 2022.

Prof. Martin said the projects reflected Deakin’s focus on sustainability and commitment to preserve and enhance natural environments.

“The AquAFI and the Queenscliff Marine Science Centre projects enable Deakin to undertake research and education that will deliver outcomes that are both locally relevant and globally significant,” Prof. Martin said.

“Along with our Integrated Water Management Plan, which will explore alternate water sources for the Barwon region to ease the strain on existing supplies, the three projects confirm Deakin as a global leader in aquaculture research and innovation, marine science and fisheries.”