CQUniversity welcomes commitment to Mackay electric vehicle and energy training hub

14 April 2022

CQUniversity has today welcomed a Labor election commitment of $9 million to bring the electric vehicle and sustainable energy revolution to Mackay' via a new state-of-the-art TAFE training centre.

The funding commitment announced by Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers MP' will be used by CQUniversity to construct the Mackay Electric Vehicle and Energy Training (MEVET) Centre at the CQU Mackay Ooralea campus.

CQUniversity's Vice-Chancellor' Professor Nick Klomp explained that the initiative will directly benefit the Mackay community through employment outcomes' and enhanced training and re-skilling opportunities.

'The objective of this planned centre is to deliver the local region with the infrastructure that is required to train people in the development and maintenance of electrical vehicles and other alternative energy technologies.

'The Centre will provide the regional infrastructure and capacity that is needed to prepare workforces for the emergence' adoption and evolution of these technologies'' said Professor Klomp.

'Electrical vehicles are gaining in popularity when it comes to passenger vehicles but there is also increasing interest when it comes to commercial vehicles.

'Increased usage of such technology is a great thing for the environment but without trained workforces who can maintain them' the mainstream delivery and usage of this type of innovation would be unsustainable.

'The MEVET Centre will position Mackay as a hub in regional Queensland for light and heavy electric vehicle training' establishing a locally grown pipeline of skilled workers and professionals now' ahead of time' in Central Queensland.

'The Centre will build CQUniversity's capacity to train suppliers' installers and maintenance experts in key areas of renewable electricity production and technology' focusing on hydrogen' solar and wind energy.

'The MEVET Centre will also cater to the growing interest in hybrid diesel electric engines' in marine applications such as freight and yachting.'

Professor Klomp also said that CQUniversity's long-term vision is to co-locate the MEVET Centre on the Ooralea campus site' to maximise synergies with existing training activities in light and heavy vehicles' as well as with hydrogen' engineering and industry-focused researchers based at the campus.

'The Centre will facilitate research and development activities in conjunction with CQUniversity's mechanical engineering and mechatronics disciplines' allowing training to intersect with and inform research activities' with potential for ongoing industry innovation and commercialisation opportunities'' he said.

Jim Chalmers MP said' 'As the national economy recovers from COVID we want regional Queensland to be a much bigger part of the story.

'What this announcement today means is that as the needs of heavy industry change' the Mackay Whitsunday region will have the skills and the workforce to create good' secure and sustainable jobs for locals.'

Once constructed and operational' the MEVET Centre would allow CQUniversity to deliver training in light and heavy vehicle maintenance and repairs; hydrogen fuel cell installation and repairs for light and heavy vehicles; maintenance and repair of hybrid engines; maintenance and operation of electric vehicle infrastructure such as charging stations; and the installation and maintenance of alternative energy infrastructure including solar and wind.

Qualifications delivered via the centre would include Certificates and Diplomas in sustainable and renewable energy and short courses in energy design and installation' hydrogen' and fuel cell safety and transportation.

It is expected that the construction of the MEVET will create up to 45 jobs with another 20 permanent jobs created in training' administration' and support once the Centre is established.

CQUniversity estimates that the Centre could be operational by 2024.