This paper outlines the design, construction, commissioning and subsequent investigation of a shear test laboratory facility at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). The facility was developed with the financial support of ACARP to understand the impact of shear loading conditions on the performance of reinforcement elements such as rockbolts and cablebolts. While it is acknowledged that shear loading commonly occurs, progress towards a better understanding of its impact has been limited due to issues in modelling behaviour. Preliminary testwork indicates that many of these issues have been overcome in the design of the current facility. The facility is based on a single shear failure plane design which has overcome many of the issues associated with double shear designs such as dealing with high resultant loads and deformation to the support structure. A program of preliminary tests indicates that behaviour of the rock reinforcement system is less a function of the behaviour of the individual components than the interactions that occurs between the components that make up the system.