College at home having no home

By REN LANZONrlanzon@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org

GLADSTONE'S technical college will be quite at home having no home, according to its chair Mark Greenaway yesterday.

Gladstone is among 25 centres across Australia chosen to host an Australian Technical College (ATC).

But the college is unique because it is the only one that will not have a physical campus.

"We are operating through existing educational facilities and with the assistance of small, medium and large industries,'' he said.

Mr Greenaway said Gladstone was much smaller than other centres selected to have an ATC and a physical college "will just draw resources from the other educational facilities''.

The high cost of building and equipping new college structures also was taken into consideration.

Mr Greenaway said Gladstone was able to attract a college despite its smaller population base because of its history of trade training, particularly in schoolbased new apprenticeships.

"I believe we got the college because the Senate committee that visited Gladstone last year saw what was being achieved here and they wanted to support it.''

The Gladstone ATC began operations in January this year.

"We have one student at this stage, but we hope to have about 30 by the end of the year and to increase the numbers progressively.''

Meanwhile Banana Shire residents can now view plans for the new $1.35 million TAFE campus in Biloela, expected to be operational by mid July this year.

The campus, funded 60 per cent by the State and 40 per cent by the Commonwealth, will rise on Valentine Plains Road opposite the Police Citizens Youth Club.

Central Queensland TAFE director Bill Fry said a development application for the new site has been lodged with Banana Shire Council and the plans were on display in the council foyer.



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