Red Cross Opens “State of the Art” Blood Service Facility in Melbourne
30 April 2012 at 12:43 pm
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service has opened what is said to be the largest blood processing facility in the Southern Hemisphere.
The Melbourne Processing Centre, funded by the Federal and State governments, will house cutting edge testing and processing technologies and was officially opened by the Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Catherine King.
The Red Cross Blood Service chief executive, Jennifer Williams, said that the state of the art facility will process 30 per cent of the nation’s blood supply.
Williams said the facility will ensure Australia continues to have one of the safest blood supply systems in the world.
“Our international visitors have described it as the most advanced facility in the world and I believe it is; we are very proud of it,” Williams said.
The Federal and State governments are reported to have injected $213 million into the project for the purchase of the land, the design, build and fit-out of the site.
The one time car factory has been extensively redesigned into a modern processing facility which Red Cross says will process all of Victoria’s and Tasmania’s blood – about 1,500 blood donations per day.
“This is a significant investment in the future of the Blood Service, and the Federal Government is delighted to support this vital work,” Catherine King said.
Red Cross said that the facility has been designed to withstand an earthquake of seven on the Richter Scale, and can operate for four days without external water, gas, electricity and sewerage.
The centre is reportedly also designed to be environmentally responsible minimising energy use and carbon emissions where possible.
Jennifer Williams said that the Melbourne Processing Centre completes the Red Cross’ current major capital infrastructure development program, which has seen the modernisation of processing in Brisbane, Sydney and now Melbourne.
“It is a fabulous building and a vital piece of health infrastructure that will enable us to keep improving how we test, process and distribute blood,” Williams said.
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