The University of Western Australia (UWA) has officially opened its new rural medicine and natural resource management centre.


The $6.2 million UWA Albany Science Building was officially unveiled by State Minister for Education, Peter Collier, and State Minister for Regional Development Brendon Grylls.


The centre houses teaching facilities for the UWA’s Centre of Excellence in Natural Resource Management and the Rural Clinical School of WA.


The centre was opened with a $1.5 million from the State’s Royalties for Regions funds, $2.24 million in Federal funding and $1 million from the university.


UWA Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robyn Owens said today's opening marks a significant milestone in the advancement of world-class teaching and scientific research in regional Western Australia.


"The Great Southern is a biodiversity hotspot - a natural laboratory for advanced science to provide sustainable environmental solutions that will benefit industry, government agencies and the entire regional community," Professor Owens said.


"It's also a natural place to teach and research rural medicine in the context of local health needs and regional community expectations."


Albany's new science facility will be used to teach medical students from UWA and the University of Notre Dame Australia in a program designed specifically to attract more doctors to regional, rural and remote communities, including the Great Southern.


It will also expand the CERNM's leadership role - in partnership with Federal, State and Local Government agencies - in solving natural resource management issues through advanced research in areas such as water management, salt-tolerant tree crops, commercial horticulture, dairy farm ecology, abalone farming, nitrogen-induced algal blooms and fish kills, and the environmental impact of mining on wetlands.