John BRUMBY, the Minister for Innovation, for the Victorian State Government in Australia, today welcomed plans to design and build Premier Challenge's Volvo Open 70 in Victoria.
The construction of the race boat began last week and it will be launched at the beginning of June next year.
Premier Challenge's Volvo Open 70 is being built at Mornington and the Docklands Central Pier and it is currently the only Australian entry in the Volvo Ocean Race 2005-06.
Mr Brumby said that Premier Challenge would promote Victoria's advanced design capabilities across the globe and that the Victorian Government would provide $500,000 towards the $15 million project.
'Our funding from the Science, Technology and Innovation Initiative will be used to optimise the design of the yacht and support the showcasing of innovation in marine design, materials and construction,'
Mr Brumby said.
Premier Challenge's Volvo Open 70 will build on the success of the Victorian designed and manufactured Skandia Wild Thing, which is Australia's most successful super-maxi yacht.
Facilities at Central Pier will enable the public to follow progress of the yacht's construction and to learn more about the Volvo Ocean Race and the Melbourne stopover which the Premier announced in July last year.
At a later stage, the completed yacht will be on display with multi-media resources showing the yacht's progress through the race.
Mr Brumby said that the Premier Challenge project reflects the Victorian Government's commitment to the marine industry, which pumps over $2 billion annually into the State economy.