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Maximising medical research and exports

4 April 2019

Joint media release with the Federal Member for Groom, the Hon Dr John McVeigh MP

The Morrison Government has granted Major Project Status to Asterion (Australia) Pty Ltd to develop and establish one of the world’s largest, fully automated, purpose-built glasshouses for cultivation and processing of medicinal cannabis.

Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews said the trailblazing research facility in Toowoomba would provide a significant boost to the regional economy, creating over 1000 jobs.

“The $450 million project will boost jobs across the Toowoomba region, and help position Australia as a major exporter of medicinal cannabis,” Minister Andrews said. 

“Through the harvesting of 20,000 plants per day, the project is expected to generate up to 500 tonnes of medicinal cannabis each year, with an export value of $1 billion.”

Medical cannabis is used to treat a range of conditions, including epilepsy, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, severe nausea and chronic pain.

“The granting of Major Project Status recognises the national and strategic significance of this project through its contribution to economic growth, employment and contribution to regional Australia,” Minister Andrews said.

Federal Member for Groom John McVeigh said the project would bring jobs, innovation and world-leading research to the Toowoomba region.

“This significant project is expected to create 800 full time jobs and 300 part time, including jobs for scientists undertaking advanced research in both medicine and horticulture,” Dr McVeigh said.

“Toowoomba has everything Asterion needs to support a project of this significance including transport linkages, advanced research facilities and capacity, access to technology and of course the right climate.

“For these reasons, our region is primed to attract more game-changing projects and jobs like this in the future.”

Asterion has also entered a research contract with the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation at the University of Queensland. The 18 month program aims to clone highly productive, elite strains of cannabis to satisfy the growing demand for cannabis-based medicines.

Major project status is granted under the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s Major Project Facilitation programme, administered by the Major Projects Facilitation Agency.

For more information on the Major Projects Facilitation Agency and the full list of current major projects, visit www.mpaa.gov.au

Media contacts:

Minister Andrews' office 02 6277 7070

Dr McVeigh's office 02 6277 4277