Thursday, April 25, 2024

LGAQ welcomes university hubs funding

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) has welcomed the announcement of four new Regional University Study Hubs for the state.

The Federal Government is set to fund the four hubs in the Warwick, Chinchilla, Innisfail and Central West Queensland, with the latter to have sites located in Longreach, Barcaldine, Blackall, Winton, Boulia, Bedourie, Birdsville and Jundah.

LGAQ chief executive officer, Alison Smith said the Association and councils had worked together to advocate for and secure the extra hubs.

“Our members see these hubs as critical to the liveability of their communities,” Ms Smith said.

“The current centres in Roma and St George continue to go from strength to strength, the Tablelands regional university centre in Atherton opened in June 2023, Cooktown in July 2023 and Mount Isa is set to open very soon.

“Providing opportunities to study closer to home, but in a peer supported way enhances opportunities for students to undertake and complete additional tertiary studies.

“It means young people can study while they live and work in their home towns.

“As Australia’s most decentralised state, Queensland faces unique challenges that university hubs can help address, including skilling and keeping workers and their families in country regions.

“It’s great to have these four new hubs to come online, but the reality is our state’s diverse communities need many more,” she said.

The Association says it remains focused on advocating for more Queensland towns and regions to benefit from the next funding round.

“Gaining four of the 10 hubs in this first round has been a good result – but we want to improve our score in the next round.”

“The LGAQ will continue to work with our members keen to see more communities benefit from these hubs and the opportunities they provide to ‘live, learn and earn’.

“Our councils and communities are passionate about the benefits these hubs bring and look forward to Queensland securing more in the next round of funding from the Federal Government following its commitment in response to the Universities Accord Interim Report to double the number of University Study Hubs across Australia,” said Ms Smith.

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