Education Agriculture Youth | March 16, 2018

Funding required for Longerenong College

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP and Steph Ryan MP, Deputy Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships visited Longerenong College yesterday to discuss the importance of training in agriculture and the need for further investment.

“The Nationals provided $2 million in funding to Longerenong College in 2014 to refurbish 108 student rooms and six disabled-access rooms,” Ms Kealy said.

“It is disappointing that despite glowing reports of these redevelopment works, the Andrews Labor Government cannot see the value of continuing with the next project stage and has failed to provide even $1 to help fund the refurbishment of Longerenong’s Agribusiness Centre.

“Daniel Andrews talks about the importance of partnerships to provide meaningful opportunities for local people, yet Labor has failed to provide the necessary funding for the next stage of redevelopment works. In doing so Daniel Andrews has failed to cement the Wimmera’s reputation as a centre of excellence for agricultural production training and research,” she said.

Student numbers at Longerenong College continue to grow, forcing the college to put a cap on student numbers from 2015.

“Redevelopment of the Agribusiness Centre is a priority project for Longerenong College and I have seen firsthand the current buildings which are significantly dated and require works,” Ms Kealy said.

“We are calling on the Andrews Labor Government to immediately fund the redevelopment of Longerenong’s agribusiness centre, allowing the college to continue to provide the quality learning environment that students and staff are entitled to and expect,” she said.

Shadow Minister for Training, Skills and Apprenticeships, Steph Ryan MP said the increased student enrolments was a credit to the management and staff at Longerenong College and clearly demonstrates the ongoing demand for their agricultural courses.

“Longerenong College isn’t just important to Horsham and western Victoria. Its agricultural courses draw students from right across the State and helps support our world-class food and fibre producers.

“It was great to see how the investment made under the last Nationals Government has boosted training in the region and to get a briefing on the priorities for the College going forward.

“I look forward to working with Emma to ensure Longerenong retains its status as one of the finest destinations for agricultural training in Victoria,” she said.

Steph Ryan also took the opportunity to visit the Western Campus of Federation University to discuss local training opportunities to support Vocational Education and Training programs and apprenticeships, providing local people with the skills required to fill local jobs.

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