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New dental prosthetics lab for the Valley

An expanded health service is bringing both smiles, and an important new industry to the Gippsland region.

The Churchill-based Latrobe Valley University Training Clinic and Dental Prosthetic Laboratory opened its doors in December 2017, with 22 of the 38 new jobs recruited to, and generating a new high-value manufacturing industry in the Valley.

A local company, BFN Developments, built the new facility and hired 20 Gippsland-based sub-contractors to provide goods and services to the project.

The Latrobe Valley University Training Clinic and Dental Prosthetic Laboratory includes:

  • a specialist laboratory to make dental prosthetics
  • three dental surgeries and consultation rooms for physiotherapy, podiatry and counselling
  • community spaces to accommodate planned activity group services
  • workspaces and offices to accommodate up to 35 staff, students and academics
  • high-quality environmental building with rooftop solar panels and water recycling.

The project was delivered by Victoria’s largest regional community health service provider, Latrobe Community Health Services, which is now able to expand its workforce and diversify its business because of the Victorian Government’s $1.42 million investment.

Leigh Kennedy from Regional Development Victoria’s Gippsland office says, “The new facility will be the only dental prosthetics laboratory in regional Victoria with and will make a significant contribution to the supply of prosthetics to Victorian dentists, which will be reducing the need for imports”.

“This is great news for the Valley, and the Victorian health sector generally,” says Leigh.  

“RDV have worked closely with Latrobe Community Health Services to make the clinic happen, and help bring new professional workers to the region, and provide a new service to people living in the region,” she says.

The facility is situated next to Federation University – a project partner – and provides an exciting opportunity for teaching and research collaboration between LCHS and Federation University. It will also provide specialist medical services to 3,000 Federation University students and over 920 staff. A MoU between the university and LCHS has been developed to secure LCHS as the preferred provider of health services to staff and students at the University.

The Australian Government has also contributed $2.6 million to the project through its National Stronger Regions Fund.