CQUniversity welcomes Coalition commitment to $50m Cairns CBD campus project

13 May 2022

CQUniversity has welcomed the Coalition's commitment to fund a new Cairns campus' ushering in a new era of education' training and employment opportunities for Far North Queensland.

The $50m campus' earmarked for construction on Hartley St in the Cairns CBD' will now go ahead thanks to bipartisan support.

CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor and President' Professor Nick Klomp said today's commitment was welcome news for everyone in the region who has been championing the project over several years.

"From day one' we have seen incredibly strong business and community support for this project' which people rightly see as an enabler of future economic growth in Cairns'" Professor Klomp said.

"Not only will the new CQUniversity Cairns campus development create more than 300 short-term construction jobs' it will employ more than 300 people once complete and will continue to produce skilled local graduates for years to come.

"The new campus will also generate more than $500m in economic activity for the region over its first decade of operation' the positive ripple effects of which will be felt across Far North Queensland.

"I warmly thank the Coalition for their commitment to fund the new CQUniversity Cairns campus development' and I look forward to seeing the expanded campus open its doors."

CQUniversity Associate Vice-President' Cairns and Far North Region' Jodie Duignan-George said today's announcement was the culmination of several years of community advocacy.

"CQUniversity has always been warmly welcomed in Cairns because our mission has been clear from the start: we want to build the region's capacity in skills and knowledge' and create economic opportunity'" Ms Duignan-George said.

"I want to thank our business' community and government stakeholders in the region' who have been tireless in their efforts to raise awareness of the new CQUniversity Cairns campus project.

"With bipartisan support' we will now see our vision come to fruition' in the form of a campus that will change the lives of up to 4'000 students a year by 2030."

Professor Klomp said the new CQUniversity Cairns campus project' which he described as "shovel-ready"' would provide the following benefits according to modelling by Cummings Economics:

  • 330 jobs in construction (80 direct) and more than 300 jobs directly from expanded university operations
  • Up to 500 jobs (indirectly) over the long term
  • A $41m boost to the FNQ economy during the construction phase' and up to $70m a year over the long term
  • A total contribution of $549m to the regional economy over 10 years
"We are serious about helping the Cairns region realise its vision of becoming Australia's leading Education City. Today's announcement brings us one step closer to that goal'" Professor Klomp said.

CQUniversity also welcomed another commitment from the LNP on the same day for the Mackay Electric Vehicle and Energy Training Centre (MEVET)' valued at $9 million.