La­bor’s at­tempt to axe Ag Col­leges

Balonne Beacon - - NEWS -

THE lat­est at­tempt the State La­bor Gov­ern­ment to axe the Lon­greach and Emer­ald Agri­cul­tural Col­leges comes hot on the heels of the cuts to the School to In­dus­try Part­ner­ship Pro­gram that has been run­ning for 14 years.

Mem­ber for War­rego Ann Leahy said the Lon­greach and Emer­ald Agri­cul­tural Col­leges were fight­ing for sur­vival with the se­cret Coal­drake Review now be­fore the State La­bor Gov­ern­ment, who re­fused to rule out clos­ing the col­leges when ques­tioned by the Lib­eral Na­tional Party in Par­lia­ment.

“La­bor has form in clos­ing Queens­land Agri­cul­tural Train­ing Col­leges, hav­ing pre­vi­ously closed the Dalby and Bur­dekin cam­puses,” Ms Leahy said.

“SIPP has en­gaged over 10,000 stu­dents and has bol­stered stu­dents un­der­stand­ing of where our food and fi­bre comes from. It high­lights agri­cul­tural job op­por­tu­ni­ties across our re­gions.”

Ms Leahy said stu­dents from Dalby High School en­gaged in an Ag In­spi­ra­tion Tour where the stu­dents and teach­ers vis­ited work­ing farms, stu­dents from St Ge­orge en­gaged in Ag Con­nect where farm­ers vis­ited the schools.

“For many years the SIPP team have been run­ning stands at lo­cal shows through­out the state and the Ru­ral Dis­cov­ery Day at the Ekka to help pro­mote the un­der­stand­ing of agri­cul­tural in­dus­tries,” Ms Leahy said.

“Roma and Mitchell Shows ben­e­fited from the SIPP team set­ting up tents at the shows and sup­port­ing the lo­cal events.

“Next year’s stu­dents and shows will miss out, whilst the Palaszczuk La­bor Gov­ern­ment pre­sides over di­vid­ing com­mu­ni­ties and agri­cul­ture and our re­main­ing Agri­cul­tural Col­leges face a very un­cer­tain fu­ture.”

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