CQUniversity has warmly welcomed Federal Labor's $50m commitment to establish a new state-of-the-art university campus in the Cairns CBD.
The commitment' announced by shadow treasurer Hon Jim Chalmers MP at an Advance Cairns event this morning' will go ahead if an Albanese Government takes power at the upcoming federal election.
In Cairns for today's announcement' CQUniversity Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Klomp praised Federal Labor's support for the long-discussed project and Cairns' future as an education city.
'Today's announcement represents a massive shot in the arm for Cairns and the Far North Queensland region'' Professor Klomp said.
'A new CQUniversity Cairns campus will not only create 330 construction jobs in the short term' it will inject $500 million into the Far North over the next decade and double the number of local students from 2000 to 4000.
'Cairns is in the grip of a significant skills shortage' with a growing demand for degree-qualified workers and barriers to attracting workers from other regions.
'Around a quarter of all jobs advertised in Cairns are for qualified graduates in allied health' engineering' accountancy' and cyber security' with many roles going unfilled due to lack of supply locally.
'We need to grow our own talent pipeline in Cairns' and the only way to do that is by building new teaching infrastructure to support the growing local demand for tertiary education and training.'
CQUniversity Cairns Associate Vice-President Jodie Duignan-George also welcomed the announcement' particularly now that CQUniversity has almost outgrown its current campus in Cairns.
'Since CQUniversity opened its doors in Cairns back in 2015' we have seen student enrolment growth of roughly 20 per cent year-on-year' every year'' Ms Duignan-George said.
'While this growth is nothing short of phenomenal' we simply cannot accommodate our growing student cohort in our current facilities for much longer.
'The new CQUniversity Cairns campus will ensure up to 4000 local students per year can access world-class education and training' right here in the heart of the Cairns CBD.'
Professor Klomp thanked local business leaders and the wider Cairns community for their longstanding support of the project' as well as Federal Labor for its $50m commitment.
'The Cairns community has been nothing short of incredible in the way they have supported the new Cairns campus project from the day it was announced. I want to thank them for their unwavering belief in Cairns' future as a leading education city'' he said.
'I would also like to thank the Hon Jim Chalmers MP' the Hon Tanya Plibersek MP' the Hon Catherine King MP' Senator Nita Green' and Leichhardt electoral candidate Elida Faith' for their support in making today's announcement a reality.
'I now urge the Federal Coalition and candidates from other parties to commit to funding this critical nation-building project' ahead of the upcoming federal election.
'We can't leave the economic development and future workforce of Cairns to chance.'