MORE THAN 121 jobs, including 42 new jobs, have been announced as the contractor for the construction of the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory is announced.
The laboratory will become the first lab in the southern hemisphere to conduct research into 'dark matter' and is situated within the Stawell Gold Mine.
Development Minister Mary-Anne Thomas toured the site within the Stawell Gold Mine as she announced the project's head contractor and the start of works.
"This important project will showcase to the world our state's commitment to cutting-edge research and put Stawell on the global map, as well as creating more jobs in regional Victoria," she said.
The laboratory will boost the region's economy through the creation of 79 full time equivalent direct and indirect jobs over the first 10 years of operation.
Ballarat contractor, H.Troon, was appointed to lead the construction of the laboratory. The build is set to create 42 full-time equivalent roles and is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.
Dark matter comprises 85 per cent of the mass of the universe, but until now scientists have not seen it and the substance remains a mystery. Australian and international researchers will work together inside the lab, which will be built one kilometre below ground.
The rock will act as a shield from naturally occurring particles from space, making this sensitive search for dark matter possible.
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