CQuni manufacturing school facility to be built in Gladstone
PRIME Minister Scott Morrison made a "fleeting” visit to Purcell's Engineering in Gladstone today to announce a promise of $30 million for a new Central Queensland University School of Mines and Manufacturing.
Joined by member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd, Mr Morrison met with owner Terry Purcell to discuss how the new school would benefit businesses like his.
He said if re-elected the new facility would be divided among the two CQuniversity campuses with the manufacturing school in Gladstone and mines in Rockhampton.
"This is about physically building a shop for works where people will be physically trained,” Mr Morrison said.
"Us doing that says this about Central Queensland: we believe heavy industry in Central Queensland is it's future. It's not just its past.
Mr Morrison said businesses like Purcell's Engineering, which employs 70 staff, depended on the resources sector and its "virtuous” cycle.
"You're not going to build a manufacturing and mining school if you don't believe manufacturing and mining has a future,” Mr Morrison said.
"We believe it does so we're investing in getting apprentices in and facilities in because we believe it has a big future.”
Mr Morrison said this new facility would "turn around” the issue of young people leaving regional centres and not returning.
"Because it creates the jobs and opportunities,” he said.
"We want to send the message to young people that the mining sector has a future. It's worth staying and getting trained and being a part of it.”
Mr O'Dowd said the investment would prepare young people for some of the highest paying jobs in the region.
"Average wages are about $150,000 plus,” Mr O'Dowd said.
"You can't get that in a lot of other cities and towns around Australia.
"But because of the mining industry they are well-paid jobs.”
The Prime Minister last visited Gladstone two weeks ago to announce a $60-million commitment to support apprentices through a regional and rural apprentices scheme.