A DARK matter researcher believes new federal government funding will lead to more experiments and state-of-the-art testing being done in the Wimmera.
Member for Wannon Dan Tehan announced $35 million for dark matter research last week.
The money will allow researchers at the newly established ARC Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics to study dark matter at Stawell.
The centre is led by Elisabetta Barberio and based at the University of Melbourne.
The university also received $5 million each from the federal and state governments earlier this year.
The money will go towards building the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory, which will be located a kilometre underground in a disused section of the Stawell Gold Mine.
Professor Barberio, who is also one of the Stawell laboratory's founding directors, said the new centre of excellence would allow scientists to conduct vital research at the facility.
"This provides a much-needed boost for Australian researchers in the search for dark matter," she said.
"The centre will enable Australia to lead the endeavour in understanding what the universe is made of, with the potential for major discoveries and compelling new ideas on the nature of dark matter.
"Our strong and diverse team of physicists from particle and nuclear physics, quantum measurement, and astrophysics will conduct experiments using new cutting-edge technologies."
Professor Barberio said the money would allow the research team to do more testing and experiments at the Stawell laboratory.
"The centre will establish the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory as the southern hemisphere's epicentre for dark matter research," she said.
"It will provide a dynamic environment for advances in ultra-sensitive detectors, ultra-low radiation techniques, spin-off technology translation, and highly trained graduates ready to lead innovation in Australian industry.
"If anyone else is researching dark matter, they will need to come to Stawell to do any tests as it will be the only laboratory in the southern hemisphere."
Professor Barberio said the research aimed to understand the majority of the universe.
"Dark matter makes up almost all matter in the universe, without dark matter there would be be galaxies, no us - nothing," she said.
"We are in a really good position with this research."
University of Melbourne vice-chancellor Duncan Maskell said there was a significant investment that set Australia up as a leader on the world stage in the search for dark matter.
"Elisabetta, who has already done tremendous work in the search for dark matter, will be a strong leader for this project," he said.
"I'd like to thank Minister for Education Dan Tehan and the Australian Research Council for their support for this research, which might very well change how we look at the universe."