The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has welcomed an announcement by the Federal Government that the Regional University Centre program will be expanded to Mount Isa.
The State’s peak council advocacy body said Mount Isa’s inclusion was the result of consistent advocacy by Queensland councils to have the successful program expanded – and higher education opportunities made available – to more local communities.
LGAQ CEO, Alison Smith said the program was a perfect fit for an important regional centre.
“At last year’s LGAQ Annual Conference, over 350 member delegates backed a move to expand the Regional University Centre program and provide students in rural and regional Queensland with greater choice and more access to higher education,” Ms Smith said.
“Existing centres in the Maranoa, Goondiwindi and Balonne local government areas have proved a catalyst to expand the program that started in 2018, and we hope to see further opportunities developed across Queensland.”
She said the announcement was vital for Mount Isa, as it would not only boost access to education for rural communities, but also improve liveability and address major regional skills shortages.
“Importantly, the funding is budgeted from the existing program, so Mount Isa will get its Regional University Centre irrespective of the Federal Election result.”
“The LGAQ will continue to advocate for more local communities to benefit from this program going forward,” Ms Smith said.