Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis MP welcomes today’s announcement the Copper Coast University Centre project is to receive funding from the Federal Government’s Regional University Centres funding program, allowing for plans for the new Kadina-based education hub to now proceed.
“This news is fantastic and is game-changing for education opportunities for our region,” Mr Ellis said.
“The Copper Coast University Centre will bring significant economic and social benefits for all living and working in the Narungga electorate and importantly, help to arrest an alarming surge of young local people leaving the region for the city directly after finishing school due to a lack of local employment or higher education opportunities -- and then once dislocated, not returning.
“Regional growth and rural population retention are topics I am particularly passionate about, hence it was with no hesitation that I accepted an invitation to join the steering committee formed by Copper Coast Council in the final planning stages of this important project, to help bring the proposal for a Regional University Centre based in Kadina to fruition.
“I have seen the positive impact of investment in regional study hubs established in other regional areas around Australia, and firmly believe the same benefits can be derived from the creation of such an initiative for Yorke Peninsula.
“I foresee valuable additional benefits of increased opportunities for local job seekers and outcomes that address workforce shortages and fill recognised skill gaps in the region – all important specific components of the Marshall Liberal Government’s current regional development strategy.
“In the planning stages, I was particularly pleased to see the extent of demonstrated evidence of community support and demand for courses projected to be offered at the new centre, which no doubt strongly supported the Copper Coast Council’s application for funding.
Mr Ellis said it is recognised that more rural-based young people will undertake tertiary studies if not faced with the extra cost and social dislocation that comes with having to relocate to the city to attend university.
“The new university hub will be based within the Kadina TAFE facility, which has long been recognised as under-utilised and which is ideally located next door to Kadina Memorial School.
“I commend Mayor Talbot, CEO Russell Peate, the advisory personnel from the Upper Spencer Gulf Regional University Hub, Regional Development Australia Yorke and Mid North CEO Kelly-Anne Saffin and staff, and all steering committee members and community leaders who have demonstrated ongoing commitment to this project, in the case of Copper Coast Council over many years.
“Today’s announcement the project is to receive the funding this project deserves is exciting news for us all”, Mr Ellis said.