The federal government is providing $220 million to upgrade a CSIRO biosecurity research facility in Geelong to help better understand the coronavirus and test potential vaccines.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the centre has already made rapid progress in work that will fast-track securing a vaccine for COVID-19.
The government has also committed up to $10 million to support this specific work as required, on top of the $220 million.
The world-leading team of scientists in Geelong has already commenced pre-clinical trials for vaccine candidates and I am confident they are moving ever closer to bringing forward a vaccine for COVID-19," Mr Hunt said in a statement on Saturday.
The facility, formerly known as the Australian Animal Health Laboratory, has also been renamed the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP) to better reflect its national role in identifying, preventing and responding to the increasing threat of diseases, including those spreading from animals to humans.
"This $220 million upgrade will strengthen the ACDP's emergency response capacity to prepare for and deal with epidemics occurring in Australia and enhance the facility's already outstanding work in developing disease protection and biosecurity measures," Mr Hunt said.
Australian Associated Press