‘GAME CHANGER’: Major step for CQ’s mining industry
FUTURE workforces across Central Queensland’s most in-demand sector will soon be strengthened as the development of a new School of Mining and Manufacturing progresses.
The dual facility, which comes as part of a $30 million federal commitment last election, will deliver state-of-the-art education to CQUniversity students at Rockhampton and Gladstone.
However, the company which would be tasked to develop the massive project had remained unknown – until today.
National contractor giant FDC Construction and Fitout was today officially awarded the sought-after $37 million tender in a ceremony held at one of the two sites in which it will soon build.
Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry also attended CQUniversity’s North Rockhampton campus, saying the new school would ensure the region’s strong future in the industries.
“This is going to be absolutely wonderful for the Central Queensland. There will be one part of campus in Rockhampton and another part down in Gladstone,” she said.
“We really are a mining hub here in Central Queensland and this is going to make sure our future students have the cutting edge on technologies on mining and manufacturing.”
While the new facility looks to strength future workforces, FDC Construction and Fitout general manager Simon Hawkins said it would also boost the region’s job market – from as soon as next year.
“The project will employ around 320 tradesman and management on-site over the course of the project, and we’re targeting to use many of the local trades that are here in Rocky and in Gladstone”
He added that would equate to around 70 or 80 per cent local procurement.
“The more we can use the better. It’s always really encouraging to come to a regional city like Rocky and be able to engage with the locals,” Mr Hawkins added.
Development of the project – which is currently eight months ahead of scheduled – is expected to commence in January next year and be complete by February 2021.
CQUniversity Vice Chancellor Professor Nick Klomp labelled the development a “game changer”, saying it would also attract other businesses to the area due its sustainable future.
“Over the next five years, we’ll be attracting more than 700 more VET students including all the trades and all the apprentices, and nearly 100 extra higher education students.”
Future graduates of the school will also likely be guaranteed employment.
“The concerns for many businesses and for many of the corporations is ensuring the future workforce and this is why this facility is so important.”
“And so important for Central Queensland as well, to make sure that we aren’t relying on attracting a workforce from the outside, but that we can train and maintain the workforce already here,” said Prof Klomp.
Proposed curriculums will also reportedly involve working with drones, metal works and even automation.