The Federal Treasurer, Mr Wayne Swan, has announced a grant of $36.78 million to significantly enhance the capabilities of the Australian Synchrotron.

The funding boost has been warmly welcomed by the synchrotron's director, Professor Robert Lamb. He said that the new investment by the Australian government would be used to create a National Centre for Synchrotron Science, to be located immediately adjacent to the existing synchrotron facility in Clayton. He added that this further development of the synchrotron's facilities would increase the efficiency of scientific discovery processes, while also providing opportunities for the public to more fully understand the work and achievements of the synchrotron.

The chairman of the Australian Synchrotron, Mrs Catherine Walter AM, said that management and the Board of the Australian Synchrotron welcome the funding announcement and the ongoing commitment by the State and Commonwealth Governments to providing world-class facilities for Australian scientists.  "The investment of $36.78 million dollars by the Commonwealth is a vote of confidence in Australian science and recognition that to be world-leading Australia needs world-class scientific facilities.  This funding will be used to build research support infrastructure that will enable a future quadrupling of scientific capabilities at Australia's largest scientific user facility".

The Australian Synchrotron has been highly successful in attracting scientists from across Australia and New Zealand to use the facility's beamlines. But with experiments typically taking two to three days to complete, the absence of any onsite accommodation for visiting scientists has caused undue delays owing to onerous commutes across Melbourne. The new facilities will include fifty self-contained rooms and ancillary services, thereby minimising extraneous delays and maximising productive times with the beamlines.

The Australian Synchrotron is deeply committed to community education. Another building in the project will provide a 400 seat auditorium, seminar rooms, an exhibition space, cafeteria and support services. These new facilities will greatly enhance the ability of the Australian Synchrotron to share the excitement of research and discovery with the wider Australian public - from groups of visiting school children to community service organisations.

A Technical Support Laboratories Building will also comprise a significant part of the project. This facility, separate from the main synchrotron building, will re-house existing technical support laboratories, releasing space for additional scientific user laboratories. Other developments in the project include an office extension building and an extension to the synchrotron's electrical power plant.

To download a copy of the announcement, click here (pdf, 163kb).

 < Back to media releases