12 December 2008

The University of Queensland has thanked the Australian Government for the "excellent Christmas present" of $47.2 million for new UQ veterinary science facilities.

Vice Chancellor, Professor Paul Greenfield, said funds announced today (December 12, 2008) by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd were a tremendous investment in the education of veterinarians, and in the future of animal health and welfare.

The University is relocating its School of Veterinary Science from St Lucia in Brisbane to UQ Gatton, in the Lockyer Valley, at a cost of more than $100 million.

The facilities being built at UQ Gatton will give students, staff, and partners in industry, government, research organisations and the community access to the most comprehensive animal research and teaching centre in Australia.

"Combined with the new $33 million Queensland Government-funded Centre for Advanced Animal Science at Gatton, the new School of Veterinary Science will create one of the best precincts for animal-related teaching, and research and development, anywhere in the subtropics," Professor Greenfield said.

The Australian Government funding results from UQ's only submission to the Higher Education Endowment Fund.

"This excellent Christmas present is a result of outstanding work by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Development), Professor Trevor Grigg, who co-ordinated the submission, as well as members of the Faculty of Natural Resources, Agriculture and Veterinary Science, and the School of Veterinary Science," Professor Greenfield said.

"I thank the HEEF Board and the Government for recognising the significance of this project, which is one of many important investments in the future of Australian higher education announced today."

UQ has allocated $25 million of its own reserves towards the School of Veterinary Science project, with a further $20 million from the University's allocation from the Better Universities Renewal Funding Initiative announced in the 2008 Federal budget.

Construction is expected to be completed in late 2009, in time for Veterinary Science students to begin the 2010 academic year at UQ Gatton.

Media: Fiona Kennedy 3365 1384 / 0413 380 012 or Jan King 0413 601 248