An official sod turning ceremony was held today to mark the start of construction for a new state-of-the-art conference facility at the Loxton Research Centre.
Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock said the centre would establish Loxton as a key regional area for national and international conferences, and bring investment to the region.
“When completed, the new $7.5 million Loxton Research Centre will facilitate opportunities at a national and international scale, such as encouraging innovation, demonstrating SA’s expertise and services in arid zone irrigation and attracting international conferences and investment,” he said.
“It will become a great launch pad to showcase the entire South Australian River Murray region’s reputation as leaders in agriculture and irrigation innovation and providers of premium food and wine.”
Barker MP Tony Pasin said he envisaged the centre as a self-sustaining hub of business activity, as well as a driver of collaboration and innovation between industry and research.
“The entire redevelopment is due to be completed by the end of 2016 at which time the centre will house tenants from the private and public sectors in education, research, business and support services,” Mr Pasin said.
“The Loxton Research Centre’s redevelopment demonstrates the government’s confidence in the Riverland region to continue to produce innovative and cutting edge research and techniques.
“With this redevelopment the centre will once again be a symbol of the world class research and innovation that we have to offer in the Riverland.”
The Loxton research Centre’s redevelopment formed part of the Australian Government’s $25 million Regional Economic Development element of the South Australian River Murray Sustainability Program.
The construction will be managed by mainly local contractors.