The Federal Government has announced that it will fund four new Regional University Study Hubs in Warwick, Chinchilla, Innisfail and Central West Queensland following advocacy from councils and the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ).

The Central West Study Hub will have sites located in Longreach, Barcaldine, Blackall, Winton, Boulia, Bedourie, Birdsville and Jundah.

LGAQ CEO, Alison Smith, said that the LGAQ and councils had worked hard together to secure extra hubs because communities and councils know the benefits of giving young people the opportunity to stay and study in their home towns and regions.

“Our members see these hubs as critical to the liveability of their communities,” Ms Smith said.

“The current centres in Roma and St George continue to go from strength to strength, the Tablelands regional university centre in Atherton opened in June 2023, Cooktown in July 2023 and Mount Isa is set to open very soon.

“Providing opportunities to study closer to home, but in a peer supported way enhances opportunities for students to undertake and complete additional tertiary studies.

“It means young people can study while they live and work in their home towns.” 

Ms Smith said that as Australia’s most decentralised state, Queensland faces unique challenges that university hubs can help address, including skilling and keeping workers and their families in country regions.

“It’s great to have these four new hubs set to come online, but the reality is our state’s diverse communities need many more.

“Gaining four of the ten hubs in this first round has been a good result – but we want to improve our score in the next round.

“The LGAQ will continue to work with our members keen to see more communities benefit from these hubs and the opportunities they provide to ‘live, learn and earn’.

“Our councils and communities are passionate about the benefits these hubs bring and look forward to Queensland securing more in the next round of funding from the Federal Government following its commitment in response to the Universities Accord Interim Report to double the number of University Study Hubs across Australia.”

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