$54M STUDY BOOST

CQ Univer­sity un­veils ma­jor city-wide ex­pan­sion projects

The Cairns Post - - FRONT PAGE - NICK DAL­TON nick.dal­ton@news.com.au

LESS than two years af­ter CQ Univer­sity set up in Cairns, it has out­grown its Shields St cam­pus and plans to cap­i­talise in a ma­jor way that will ben­e­fit the whole city.

Six projects in­cor­po­rat­ing per­form­ing arts, indige­nous stud­ies, avi­a­tion ex­cel­lence and sports science are planned af­ter con­sul­ta­tions were held with key com­mu­nity mem­bers.

The univer­sity cur­rently ser­vices 1000 stu­dents on cam­pus and on­line but this will grow to more than 2500 af­ter the ex­pan­sion is com­plete.

The Cairns Taipans Na­tional Bas­ket­ball League team will play a ma­jor part in the sports science pro­gram, only the fourth to op­er­ate in trop­i­cal ar­eas around the world.

Avi­a­tion train­ing and re­search will take place at Cairns Air­port.

The move has been en­thu­si­as­ti­cally wel­comed by city lead­ers who can see Cairns fast be­com­ing an ed­u­ca­tion hotspot.

The univer­sity’s Vice-Chan­cel­lor Scott Bow­man said the $54.7 mil­lion growth spurt would pave the way for even more ex­pan­sion.

Fed­eral fund­ing is still be­ing sought for some as­pects of the pro­gram, but univer­sity heavy­weights are con­fi­dent it will be forth­com­ing due to the ma­jor eco­nomic ben­e­fits tipped for Cairns.

CQUNIVERSITY to­day re­veals an am­bi­tious $54.7 mil­lion plan to ex­pand its pres­ence in Cairns, with a new $30 mil­lion pur­pose-built cam­pus in the CBD as well as a $16 mil­lion avi­a­tion and en­gi­neer­ing cen­tre at the city’s air­port.

The univer­sity says it has out­grown its $15 mil­lion CBD cam­pus in Shields St, opened less than two years ago.

Parts of the six-project plan are fi­nanced while the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment will be asked for fund­ing as well.

The pro­posal is de­signed to stim­u­late new in­dus­tries in the Far North.

Vice-Chan­cel­lor Pro­fes­sor Scott Bow­man said the univer­sity had spent the past few years dis­cussing with com­mu­nity and in­dus­try lead­ers about the role CQUniversity could play in kick­start­ing new in­dus­tries, pro­vid­ing the skills for emerg­ing work­forces and di­ver­si­fy­ing the lo­cal econ­omy. “The Cairns com­mu­nity made it clear that they look to CQUniversity to take a proac­tive lead in un­lock­ing emerg­ing in­dus­tries through our en­gage- ment, re­search and unique work­force skilling,” he said.

“What we are an­nounc­ing is a blue­print to im­ple­ment the com­mu­nity’s vi­sion for Cairns, the ex­cit­ing new in­dus­tries and op­por­tu­ni­ties that will make this re­gion far more re­silient and pros­per­ous.

“While, the fund­ing re­quest is am­bi­tious, the eco­nomic mul­ti­plier ef­fect of this blue­print will con­tinue pay­ing out for gen­er­a­tions to come.”

The Cairns Com­mu­nity Im­pact Plan com­prises five new in­dus­try kick-starter projects cen­tred around a much larger, per­ma­nent cam­pus base ca­pa­ble of ac­com­mo­dat­ing more than 2500 lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional stu­dents in the heart of the CBD.

“The new cam­pus will ce­ment CQUniversity’s rapid­ly­grow­ing pres­ence in the CBD, se­cur­ing Cairns’ iden­tity as a mul­ti­ple-univer­sity city,” Prof Bow­man said. He said the much larger cam­pus would al­low for fur­ther growth and in­vest­ment by the univer­sity with its cur­rent cam­pus hav­ing reached ca­pac­ity.

The Cairns Square site will close when the new cam­pus opens. The other projects are fo­cused on avi­a­tion en­gi­neer­ing and pi­lot train­ing, high per­for­mance sports science, indige­nous pol­icy for­mu­la­tion, indige­nous health and ed­u­ca­tion, emerg­ing tourism and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and cre­ative and per­form­ing arts.

Pic­ture: VERONICA SAGREDO

LOOK­ING AHEAD: CQU's Scott Bow­man at the univer­sity’s cur­rent Cairns cam­pus lo­ca­tion at the cor­ner of Shields and Ab­bott streets.

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