MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA: US Vice President Joseph Biden has praised US-Australia cooperation on cancer research while visiting the new Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) as part of official opening proceedings.
Vice President Biden toured the centre before announcing a special memorandum of understanding for cooperation on cancer research between Victoria and the US, and a fellowship exchange program between the two countries.
Mr Biden met with world-class researchers from Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne Health and the University of Melbourne, all working in the new centre-for-excellence for cancer research, treatment, education and care.
Mr Biden is chair of the US National Cancer Moonshot Initiative, launched by President Barack Obama to accelerate cancer research and international collaboration.
Shortly after the Vice President’s visit was the official opening proceedings featuring Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley, Victorian Health Minister Jill Hennessy, VCCC Director Professor Jim Bishop and Plenary Group Chairman John O’Rourke.
During his speech, Mr O’Rourke said it was heartening to see the levels of interest and excitement being generated by this purpose-designed facility.
“After many years of planning, and then four-and-a-half years of construction, I am pleased to be here celebrating the successful, on-time completion of this magnificent facility,” Mr O’Rourke said.
“This has been an outstanding project to be part of, borne of a vision of what could be achieved in cancer research and treatment if the sector was provided with a purpose-designed-and-built facility.
“It was an outstanding effort by the whole Plenary Health consortium, and it is something that everyone involved in the project can be proud of.
“I now look forward to our long-term partnership with the VCCC and our continued engagement with all building partners to ensure this facility delivers on its promise of providing nothing but the best in cancer research, education, treatment and care.”
The $1 billion, 130,000-square-metre centre is home to cancer research, clinical services and educational facilities for Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, Melbourne Health and the University of Melbourne.
Located in Melbourne’s prestigious Parkville Biomedical Precinct the VCCC aims to become one of the top 10 facilities of its kind in the world.
Delivered under a public private partnership, the Victorian Government contracted the Plenary Health consortium, comprising Plenary Group, the Grocon / PCL builder joint venture and facilities manager Honeywell to design, build, finance and maintain the project under a 25-year concession.
After more than four years of construction the VCCC opened to staff and patients on time and on budget in June 2016.
Download the media release from the Premier of Victoria.
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