12 Oct 2017

EXTRACT FROM HANSARD:    PRIVATE MEMBERS’ STATEMENTS -   CQ University

Mr ELMES (Noosa—LNP) (2.33 pm): I rise this afternoon to talk about the great work CQUniversity is doing in my electorate of Noosa and how this world-class training facility is set to expand and offer the community new, well-paid full-time employment opportunities through training. 

CQUniversity recently announced the creation of a new region, spanning from Caloundra through to Gympie with the Noosa campus being at the hub of the region. Education is the cornerstone of any community. In order for Noosa families to live, work and raise a family, our local workforce must diversify and reduce its dependency on tourism and hospitality.

The Noosa campus currently provides services and support to 1,700 students per year and with the sad trend of 50 per cent of school leavers leaving the Sunshine Coast to study, CQUniversity has identified the need to significantly invest in its expansion in order to meet demand. This will involve more courses and more facilities.

Recently I had the privilege of helping to organise a roundtable discussion with the university chancellor, the vice-chancellor, the Noosa mayor, the CEO of Noosa Hospital and the managing director of Noosa Care to discuss the many opportunities presented by the expansion, and all in attendance shared the same degree of enthusiasm and optimism. Noosa’s future has never been brighter as educators and employers team together to create sustainable, long-term employment opportunities, particularly in the health and aged care sectors. There are also great possibilities in the marine and environmental sciences for the management of the Noosa River.

Partnership and collaboration is critical to this new vision becoming a reality. With the LNP’s Noosa Hospital guarantee of a 30-year lease and an additional $5 million each year to fund extra pub services, Ramsay Health Care will have the confidence to upgrade and expand, employing more locals and continuing to deliver quality health care. I would remind those opposite that while the new university hospital on the Sunshine Coast is a wonderful facility, people have to be able to easily access it. Currently, public transport from the northern end of the Sunshine Coast is abysmal. The award-winning and highly respected Noosa Care own two aged care facilities in the shire and are desperate to expand. They, too, can see a partnership with on-site training and employment opportunities via courses from CQUniversity.

With more teachers, students and their families moving to Noosa to study and to work, the local economy and full-time job creation will be the ultimate beneficiary. I am excited and proud to be part of that future.