Research Centre Update December 2023

Following my email to you in April, I am writing to update you on further progress of the Point Nepean Research and Education Field Station.

As communicated, in April the university partners, Monash University and the University of Melbourne, agreed to inject additional funding to support the development of the Field Station, supplementing the $17 million in grant funding already received from the Commonwealth.

We are pleased to inform you that the project team has finalised the conceptual design for the Field Station. The design will be submitted for planning approval early in the new year, including the required consultation process.

The design envisages the Field Station as being a vibrant teaching, learning and research hub bringing together students, researchers and the local community in a unique coastal and marine environment. It will be capable of hosting significant coursework and research onsite, including immersive student experiences in a unique landscape rich with culture, history and biodiversity.

The Field Station will comprise the adaptive reuse of the existing Badcoe Hall, transforming it into a research and teaching facility, complete with laboratories and collaborative spaces. A new purpose-built short-stay university accommodation facility will be built between Badcoe Hall and Jackson Road, allowing students and research groups to stay onsite to maximise the teaching and research potential offered by the Field Station.

The design no longer includes the proposed seawater tanks and piping system for storing live marine samples onsite. This decision was based on the need to ensure the Field Station is sustainable in the long term given the ongoing maintenance and operational costs of the seawater tanks and piping system. This decision allows for greater flexibility in the design, meaning the Field Station can cater to the full range of teaching and research opportunities envisaged by our academics, allowing us to better maximise the use of the Field Station.

The study of marine life will continue within the breadth of research carried out at the Field Station, the location of which will readily facilitate the study of locally sourced marine samples without the need for permanent live-storage facilities.

With this exciting design milestone reached, the project team will advance our community engagement by returning to the Point Nepean Portsea Market in March 2024, providing the opportunity for the community to view and learn more about the designs. We are also planning further community briefing sessions in the new year.

We look forward to updating you further on the project and sharing visuals of the design in the coming months as we progress through government and regulatory approvals. Please reach out should you wish to discuss the project further or need more information, we are also more than happy to arrange tailored briefings with you.

Kind regards,

Jane Kasby

On behalf of the Point Nepean Research and Education Field Station project team.