Premier Daniel Andrews has pledged to establish a national infectious disease centre in Victoria, as the state records 14 consecutive days without a coronavirus case or death.
Mr Andrews announced on Friday that $155 million from the state's upcoming budget will go towards establishing the Australian Institute for Infectious Disease at the University of Melbourne in Parkville.
The centre is expected to cost $550 million, with the university and its partners to pitch in $150 million. The remaining funds will be sought from the Commonwealth.
Construction is expected to begin next year and is expected to be completed by 2025.
The premier said construction would create 350 jobs, while the institute will provide a massive boost to the biomedical sector and could support up to 5000 jobs, including up to 850 jobs at the centre itself.
"This is exactly the right thing to do at this time," Mr Andrews told reporters at the Doherty Institute on Friday.
"This has been a one in 100-year event. Who knows, there may be more pandemics of that nature in the years to come."
It comes as the state recorded its two-week virus-free run, a feat not achieved since February 22.
More than 12,000 Victorians were tested on Thursday.
"We've seen test numbers this week that have been truly impressive, and they really are the key to us keeping these numbers low," Mr Andrews said.
"Whether they're zero every day, that's not the aim. The aim is to have as low numbers as possible and be able to stop the spread of this virus as we take safe and cautious steps to open up."
Australian Associated Press