Australia's science agency has proposed a $70 million redevelopment of its Black Mountain site to help relocate its collection of insects, wildlife and plants from ageing buildings across the territory.
The three-year project for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's Canberra location, which first needs approval from a parliamentary committee, will consolidate 13 million of the agency's biological specimens into the one national collections facility.
The proposed building will also house interactive spaces, office areas, laboratories, storage vaults and landscaped areas and accommodate 128 agency staff and affiliates.
The agency added the buildings currently in use across two Canberra sites were ageing and posed a risk for the collections, which represented around 20 per cent of Australia's total biological collections.
"The collections are currently housed in disparate buildings across CSIRO's Black Mountain and Crace sites," the proposal said.
"The collections are currently accommodated in outdated facilities which are no longer fit-for-purpose and present significant ongoing operational challenges."
Additional collections will be removed from a leased warehouse in Hume and placed in the facility once built.
The works are estimated to cost $70 million, which includes $2.2 million for staff relocation fees until the end of 2024.
Building is expected to commence in January 2022 if approval is granted by Parliament's Public Works Committee and the National Capital Authority.
The project is planned for completion by February 2024.
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