View all news

New Green House opened as part of $1 million dollar upgrade for SCU’s Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics


31 August 2004
An automated greenhouse designed for the containment of quarantine plant material will be officially opened today (September 1)by Southern Cross University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Clark.

The new structure costs $100,000 and is part of a one million dollar upgrade to facilities at the Centre for Plant Conservation Genetics.

Professor Clark said the new infrastructure would improve the University’s research capacity on the international stage.

“These facilities are built to strict quarantine guidelines to ensure biosecurity. This will allow the University to import plants from overseas and provide the capacity to collaborate internationally in plant research,” Professor Clark said.

Professor Robert Henry, Director of the Centre of Plant Genetics said the new glass house facility would make an important contribution to the Centre’s research into the genetics of plants.

“The recent outbreak of Citrus Canker in Queensland demonstrates the high level of quarantine management required to ensure the safety of Australia’s agricultural industries and native plants,” Professor Henry said.

“This new facility will enable the Centre to increase its capacity to conduct plant genetics research on materials imported from all countries, while ensuring complete protection against the possible introduction of new plant diseases or pests.

“As we have recently seen with the outbreak of citrus canker, plant diseases can have a devastating impact on Australia’s agriculture industries.”

The new greenhouse has two compartments which can be controlled to regulate light, temperature and humidity, enabling researchers to simulate a range of environmental conditions.

Plants can be managed in a way that enables them to be grown outside of their usual climatic environment and growing season, enhancing the Centre’s research capacity and flexibility.

SCU’s Centre for Plant Genetics is Australia’s leader in bioprospecting and bioagriculture.

Greenhouse Opening
Where: T Block Extension (level 4)
Date: Wednesday 1st September
Time: 4pm

***Please note interviews and footage are available at 10.30am with Vice-Chancellor Professor Paul Clark & Professor Henry at the Greenhouse.

For more information:
Professor Robert Henry – 6620 3010
Kasturi Shanahan, Media Liaison – 0439 858 057
Cathy Tobin, Media Liaison – 0418 431 484