Menangle will soon be home to a world-class agricultural research facility.
The Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and the University of Sydney have announced a memorandum of understanding which will create a global hub for veterinary science, agriculture and soil research, agribusiness and training at the historic Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute in Menangle.
The new hub will see the university’s existing facilities at Cobbitty relocated to the new site.
Wollondilly mayor Matthew Deeth welcomed the announcement.
“This is great news for Wollondilly and for south-western Sydney,” he said.
“This agricultural science hub has the potential to deliver outcomes which will have a global impact and will bring the eyes of the world on us, provide smart jobs for our communities and support agribusiness in our area.
“We envision that the existing university site will to continue to be utilised for agricultural pursuit and look forward to future discussions with the university.”
Campbelltown mayor George Brticevic also praised the plan for an international agricultural hub to be built in the region.
“The development of a new educational and research institute would complement the existing innovation and research opportunities within our city,” he said.
“This level of investment would benefit the region by creating more job opportunities and supports our position as a forward thinking, connected community.
“We are excited about this decision for a new institute that would advance research to support agribusiness, biosecurity, and plant and animal science.”
The DPI website states that relocating the Cobbitty facilities would provide enhanced laboratory facilities, improve infrastructure, expand education facilities, provide improved access to public transport and increase availability of experienced staff required to respond to any emergency disease events.
DPI director general Scott Hansen said talks would begin early next year about the prospective alliance that would supercharge the state’s ability to manage agricultural pests and diseases, train students and deepen understanding of veterinary and agricultural science.
“The two organisations have an opportunity to cement a research and teaching partnership that would bring together some of the world’s best researchers in plant and animal science,” Mr Hansen said.
“DPI’s Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute is a world-renowned plant and animal biosecurity facility, serviced by internationally recognised scientists.
“The University of Sydney’s educational excellence combined with research from the School of Veterinary Science, its animal breeding program and its cereal rust laboratory, are globally renowned.
“An alliance that leverages the combined strengths of these two world-leading organisations has the potential to deliver outcomes with impacts felt not just here in NSW but right around the world.”
University of Sydney Dean of Science, Professor Iain Young said the partnership would lead to new and sustainable capabilities in animal, soil and plant science, supporting innovative academic activity, enhanced public service delivery and deeper industry links.
“Our agricultural and veterinary scientists are already among the best in the world,” he said.
“Working together with DPI at the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute can only help improve and amplify the world-class research we are doing at Camden.
“We expect this alliance will allow us to take our science to even higher levels, combining our strengths in agricultural science with the university’s engineering, artificial intelligence and robotics expertise to develop globally significant research to support agribusiness, human health and welfare.”