A sod turning ceremony is being held in the Riverland today to mark construction of a new state-of-the-art conference facility at the Loxton Research Centre.
Today’s sod turning event is being attended by South Australian Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock and the Federal Member for Barker Tony Pasin.
Mr Brock said Riverland contractor Michael Kregar Building Pty Ltd would manage a team of mainly local contractors during the construction phase of the conference facility.
“When completed, the new $7.5 million Loxton Research Centre will facilitate opportunities at a national and international scale, such as encouraging innovation, demonstrating South Australia’s expertise and services in arid zone irrigation and attracting international conferences and investment.
“This centre will establish Loxton as a key regional location for national and international conferences, bringing delegates and their investment to the region.
“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,” Mr Brock said.
Mr 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,” Mr Pasin said.
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 National Partnership Agreement on the South Australian River Murray Sustainability Program commits $265 million of Australian Government funding to the South Australian government to support a healthy working Murray-Darling Basin.