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Defence nutrition project to create new jobs in Scottsdale

14 May 2012
Media Release
Ministers at DSTO Scottsdale.
Turning the sod to mark the selection of the head contractor for the DSTO Scottsdale redevelopment project. Left to right: Warren Snowdon, Geoff Lyons, Lara Giddings and Simon Crean.

Minister for Defence Science and Personnel Warren Snowdon, Regional Development Minister Simon Crean and Member for Bass Geoff Lyons today joined the Premier of Tasmania Lara Giddings to green light an $18.7 million project to redevelop the nutrition research facility at DSTO Scottsdale.

Mr Snowdon said the project will create up to 30 new jobs in a highly specialised industry.

"Between 20 and 30 new jobs will be created during the construction phase of the project and, for the most part, subcontractors from north eastern Tasmania will be employed on the construction works,” Mr Snowdon said.

“The works include the redevelopment of food technology facilities, upgrades to existing chemistry and nutrition laboratories and improvements to site infrastructure and working areas.

“The redevelopment will result in a modern food science facility equipped to meet the future nutritional needs of ADF personnel and support their performance in highly demanding operational environments.”

The redeveloped Scottsdale site is part of an initiative to establish a new Centre of Food Innovation in which the University of Tasmania and the CSIRO are partnering with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO).

Mr Crean said the announcement built on the $20 million announced as part of the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) to create jobs and diversify the state’s economy.

“Since February, Premier Giddings and I, along with our federal and state Labor Parliamentary colleagues and members of my Ministerial Advisory Council on Regional Australia have announced 10 projects, including investment in viticulture and ecotourism, dairy, aquaculture, berry fruit and an innovative state-wide data sensor network, SenseT,” Mr Crean said.

“The 10 projects leverage private sector investment and have the potential to create more than 4000 jobs.

“Just last month I was here at the DSTO facility in Scottsdale with Economic Development Minister David O’Byrne and Mr Lyons to announce $150,000, matched by the University of Tasmania (UTAS) for a business plan to develop commercial opportunities for the proposed Centre for Food Innovation.

“The business plan will identify how this latest investment, as well as the partnership in the Centre for Food Innovation can leverage further investment and create more long-jobs in the broader community.”

Premier Giddings said the centre will focus on high-tech nutrition and survival foods for high performance athletes and defence personnel.

“The proposed Centre for Food Innovation, along with the redevelopment announced today, demonstrate the Commonwealth Government’s commitment to maintaining this important facility in Scottsdale,” Ms Giddings said.

“These are more examples of the State and Federal Governments working together to grow jobs in regional Tasmania.

“We know that the North East region has been particularly hard hit in recent years with the downturn in the forest industry and the closure of vegetable processing facilities.

“I believe this region has a bright future ahead thanks to projects such as this one and through our investments in irrigation infrastructure, the National Broadband Network and the $400 million Musselroe wind farm.”

Member for Bass Geoff Lyons said the project would provide a boost to the local economy.

“It will build on Tasmania’s expertise in food processing and agriculture and generate economic benefits for the region," Mr Lyons said.

Construction works will begin this year with an expected completion date in late 2014. The contract for the project has been awarded to Australian company Cockram Constructions.