By Imogen Knowles
Queensland is now home to the most advanced DNA testing technology in Australia, after Health Minister Geoff Wilson opened an upgraded DNA testing laboratory at Coopers Plains today.
The $7.6-million expansion will allow DNA processing to be more efficent while prodivding vital information to the police service at a faster rate and in real time.
Queensland Health Minister Geoff Wilson said the governemnt recognises the fight against crime must be lead by cutting edge technology.
“The time taken to undertake an investigation is … now down to an average of four to six weeks- which is the fastest in Australia,” Mr Wilson said.
Mr Wilson said the new technology will be able to assist in identifying missing family members, especially in times of disasters such as those Queensland has just suffered.
“We want the best technology here in Queensland to enable the best reseach and investigation to help identify these people.”
“This is vital for those families and loved ones waiting anxiously for information in these situations,” he said.
Queensalnd Health Senior Director of Forensics and Scientific Services Greg Shaw said the upgrade was motiveed by the need for the laboratoy to get up to speed with the current technology that had improved considerably.
“The degree of contaminations protection we had was not up to the new technology,” he said.
“[But now we are] by far the most advanced DNA analysis laboratory in the nation and we are leading in terms of performance, turn around time of our results to police and the number of DNA links we make with the national database.”
Mr Shaw said the laboratory aims to reach a turnaround time of 48hours.
Member for Sunnybank Judy Spence was also there to witness the opening.
“By making DNA results available sooner, we can help make Queensland a safer place,” said Ms Spence.
The refurbishment of the DNA testing laboratory took an average of 19 months and was completed earlier this year.