Key play­ers not con­sulted in clo­sure of agri­cul­tural col­leges

Balonne Beacon - - NEWS -

RU­RAL ad­vo­cates have spo­ken against the clo­sure of Queens­land’s pas­toral col­leges, claim­ing their voices have been ig­nored by the state gov­ern­ment.

The ICPA is look­ing for an­swers, and state pres­i­dent of the or­gan­i­sa­tion Tam­mie Irons said that de­spite be­ing the premier body rep­re­sent­ing the in­ter­ests of ru­ral and re­mote stu­dents, they were not con­sulted.

“ICPA QLD reg­u­larly en­gages with the State Gov­ern­ment in and reg­u­larly par­tic­i­pates in fo­rums, in­quiries and round­tables at the invitation of the gov­ern­ment,” she said.

“De­spite this, ICPA Qld was not con­sulted as part of the Coal­drake Re­view.”

Ms Irons said ax­ing the Queens­land Agri­cul­tural Train­ing Col­leges in Lon­greach and Emer­ald shows the gov­ern­ment is un­der­valu­ing the con­tri­bu­tion made by ru­ral Queens­lan­ders.

“The me­dia re­lease is­sued by Min­is­ter Furner is scant on de­tail when it comes to what this plan in­volves, and how they are go­ing to im­prove ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able to peo­ple de­sir­ing a ca­reer in agri­cul­ture,” she said.

“In­vest­ment in plan­ning and strate­gies as out­lined in the me­dia re­lease can­not de­liver what face to face, prac­ti­cally ap­plied train­ing can and does.”

AgForce has also slammed the de­ci­sion, and pres­i­dent Ge­orgie Som­er­set gave a scathing in­dict­ment of the de­ci­sion.

“It is shame­ful that our in­dus­try has been roundly ig­nored by the Gov­ern­ment and by Prof Peter Coal­drake on this issue, when we have his­tor­i­cally been so in­volved in and con­nected to the Col­leges,” she said.

“Min­is­ter Furner claims to have con­sulted more than 70 or­gan­i­sa­tions, so it is per­plex­ing that AgForce was not one of them, es­pe­cially given our me­moran­dum of un­der­stand­ing with QATC.”

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