Science background


Our vision and history

The ALTSA Vision

ALTSA is a new venture commencing with private sector investment. Our business plan is to use the world class standard infrastructure built up by the CSIRO at Merbein South to develop one of Australia’s largest laboratory complexes in the agriculture and environmental sectors, thereby providing analytical services to regional areas.

History of the Facility

In 1919, impressed by the work of the research committee, land for an Experimental Farm at Merbein was donated by the Victorian State Rivers and Water Supply Commission. The Commonwealth Advisory Council on Science and Industry offered a subsidy to match the voluntary contributions made by growers.

It was reported in The Mildura Cultivator in July 1919 that the Research Committee planned to immediately construct 'a concrete laboratory equipped with the necessary scientific apparatus, erect a cottage, fence the land, clear, prepare and plant about 10 acres of vines, procure working plant, make necessary ditches and water supply'. The new concrete laboratory consisted of two rooms, one used as an experimental laboratory and the other as an office and library.

You can learn more about our site at the Heritage Council Victoria.

CSIRO historic building

Community Focus

Science fair

We intend to give something back to the local community.In particular we are already working with TAFE and local schools to encourage local students interested in science to visit and tour our facility. Ultimately we intend to develop a science museum dedicated to the CSIRO’s research achievements on this site and accordingly we intend to have on display many of their old scientific instruments and historical photos.

Students will also be able to tour our new laboratories to get a sense of a future local career option (i.e. working in a local lab with state of the art instrumentation). These students will also spend time at the TAFE smart farm and other local businesses. Such interactions could well result in these same students one day becoming perhaps lab workers or even agronomists or other technical/quality employees, even knowledgeable farmhands at local firms. ALTSA will also ultimately look to provide work placement positions for Uni students studying higher level degrees (Masters, PhD’s) at Adelaide and Melbourne Universities with a view to attracting them to a regional workplace as well as to share the latest innovations and technologies.