AgForce fu­ri­ous it was not con­sulted on clo­sures

The Morning Bulletin - - NEWS -

BROADACRE agri­cul­ture’s peak body, AgForce Queens­land Farm­ers, is fu­ri­ous it has been ig­nored by the State Govern­ment around the clo­sure of two agri­cul­tural col­leges.

Gen­eral pres­i­dent Ge­orgie Som­er­set said she was stag­gered the broadacre sec­tor was not asked for in­put into the ter­mi­na­tion of the col­leges.

“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 Queens­land Agri­cul­tural Train­ing Col­leges,” Ms Som­er­set said.

“Broadacre agri­cul­ture in Queens­land is worth $7.25 bil­lion at the farm gate, plus $2.5 bil­lion in first-stage pro­cess­ing. More than 330,000 Queens­lan­ders are em­ployed across the whole food sup­ply chain, in­clud­ing crit­i­cally im­por­tant jobs in our re­gional and ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

“En­sur­ing ac­cess to qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion and skills de­vel­op­ment pro­vides im­por­tant ca­reer paths for young peo­ple in the bush at a time we are try­ing to en­cour­age them to stay on the land.”

CQUniver­sity vice-chan­cel­lor, Scott Bow­man said over the com­ing months the univer­sity would work with QATC staff and stake­hold­ers to un­der­stand what role it had in fu­ture de­liv­ery of agri­cul­ture train­ing and ed­u­ca­tion.

The univer­sity’s bach­e­lor of agri­cul­ture of­fers stu­dents the op­tion to exit after the first year with a di­ploma qual­i­fi­ca­tion.

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