Townsville will target expanding education markets in Asia with plans to establish an inner-city campus of Central Queensland University for up to 5000 students.
Townsville Mayor Jenny Hill (pictured below) and CQUniversity Vice Chancellor Scott Bowman announced the initiative during today’s Asia Pacific Market Forum.
Cr Hill said the CQUniversity plan had the potential to drive major new development and jobs in Townsville’s Waterfront Priority Development Area (PDA) and increase the city’s cultural and economic profile in Asia.
“Townsville is the biggest city in northern Australia and we’ve got to think big,” Cr Hill said.
“CQU are making a huge commitment to Townsville’s future by working in partnership with the council to create an exciting and vibrant educational and innovation precinct in Townsville’s CBD.
“Together with the private development industry, we have an opportunity to create a second major university campus in the city to attract thousands of students from Asia, and drive the development of the inner-city area.
“Council’s strategic purchases of the North Yards and the former railway land along Ross Creek, mean we are ideally placed to attract new development opportunities for the city.
“The development of facilities and accommodation for a major new university campus in the CBD is a perfect fit for our Waterfront PDA vision.”
Professor Bowman said CQUniversity, which opened a Townsville campus on Flinders St in the CBD last year, was an emerging force for Northern Australia.
“This partnership provides exciting opportunities for our CQUni Townsville campus to grow not only programs for international students, but also have available more programs for local students,” he said.
“Especially because CQUniversity offers both degrees and vocational training, we are uniquely placed to meet all requirements of international students, and this is one of the key reasons that it will put Townsville on the map as a major international study destination.”
Today’s announcement comes just days after CQUniversity revealed plans for a $16 million redevelopment of a Trades Training Centre at its Gladstone Marina Campus in Central Queensland.
Stage 1 and 2 of the proposal include a state-of-the-art TAFE Trades Training Centre, hair and beauty salon and modern hospitality training centre that would include a commercial kitchen and restaurant.
A Stage 3 proposal has also been put forward to develop an advanced Community Health Precinct that specialises in health training and the delivery of allied and public health services, as well as an aged care facility.
The health precinct would be located at the existing Gladstone City Campus in Derby Street (former CQ TAFE campus).
University Chancellor John Abbott, who is also a prominent local industry identity, has thrown his support behind the Gladstone project, saying the addition of a state-of-the-art trades training facility would boost the regional economy and drive long-term future growth.
“This development will be vital to ensuring our local workforces are equipped with highly skilled graduates and tradespeople,” he said.
“A project of this magnitude will benefit the local region’s economy and will have a flow-on effect for the rest of central Queensland.”