Money push for col­lege growth

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - News -

Mem­ber for Lowan Emma Kealy be­lieves a lack of State Govern­ment com­mit­ment is hold­ing up progress at Lon­gerenong Col­lege near Hor­sham.

Ms Kealy said she was dis­ap­pointed the govern­ment had yet to pro­vide fund­ing as­sur­ances for the next stage of re­de­vel­op­ment works at the agri­cul­tural school.

The col­lege’s next project, based on a re­sponse to stu­dent de­mand, is ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment of an agribusi­ness cen­tre.

“The Lib­eral-na­tional Coali­tion pro­vided $2-mil­lion in fund­ing to Lon­gerenong Col­lege in 2014 to re­fur­bish 108 stu­dent rooms and six dis­abled-ac­cess rooms,” Ms Kealy said.

“The Min­is­ter for Train­ing and Skills Steve Herbert was full of praise for the project dur­ing a visit to the fa­cil­ity early last year.

“So it is very dis­ap­point­ing that he has not seen fit to an­nounce fund­ing for the re­fur­bish­ment of the agribusi­ness cen­tre project.

“The La­bor govern­ment is al­ways talk­ing about the im­por­tance of part­ner­ships to pro­vide mean­ing­ful op­por­tu­ni­ties for lo­cal peo­ple.

“Yet they have failed to pro­vide vi­tal fund­ing for this im­por­tant project, which would ce­ment the Wim­mera’s rep­u­ta­tion as a cen­tre of ex­cel­lence for agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion, train­ing and re­search.”

Ms Kealy said stu­dent num­bers at the col­lege con­tin­ued to grow, which had forced the his­toric in­sti­tu­tion to cap stu­dent num­bers from 2015.

“The in­crease in stu­dent en­rol­ments is a credit to the man­age­ment and staff and demon­strates the on­go­ing de­mand for the agri­cul­tural cour­ses the col­lege of­fers,” she said.

“Stu­dents and teach­ers de­serve ac­cess to first­class fa­cil­i­ties whether they are study­ing in the city or the coun­try.

“I am call­ing on the govern­ment to im­me­di­ately fund the re­de­vel­op­ment of Lon­gerenong’s agribusi­ness cen­tre.”

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