Wednesday, 5th December 2018
QLD Agricultural Training Colleges Closure 'A Disgrace' Says Macdonald
Queensland Senator Ian Macdonald has slammed the State Labor Government’s decision to close the Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges at the end of 2019 as ‘a disgrace.’
Agriculture Minister Mark Furner confirmed today that the state government would close the colleges, including the main campuses in Longreach and Emerald, following a review into the rural education provider.
The Coaldrake Review, led by Professor Peter Coaldrake from the Queensland University of Technology, found that demand for traditional agricultural industry training had been declining and that more flexible options were needed.
Training colleges in the Burdekin and Dalby were closed in 2012 and 2016.
Senator Macdonald said that the importance of the training and skills the colleges had provided to agricultural industries in Queensland and Australia should not be underestimated.
“The State Labor Government’s decision to close the last of our Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges is one that will badly affect Queensland’s agriculture industries for decades to come,” Senator Macdonald said.
“I’m from Ayr, a rural town in North Queensland, and I understand the vital need for skills training in agriculture and the importance of getting people to focus on a future in agriculture.
“Over 108 staff members employed in these colleges across Queensland will lose their jobs and many students will miss out on an excellent opportunity to learn to work in the agricultural sector.
“With the closure of these colleges, I am deeply concerned about the future of our agricultural industries under a Labor Government.”