MPs call for college keys to be handed to AgForce
FEDERAL Minister for Agriculture David Littleproud has supported calls for the Queensland Government to hand over the keys to Longreach and Emerald agricultural colleges to the farm industry.
AgForce has called for the keys to be handed over, believing it could be an opportunity to reform and modernise education and skills available to rural Queenslanders,” Mr Littleproud said.
"While the rest of the country is trying to build up these drought ravaged communities the state government is trying to tear them down.
"The Queensland Government needs to hand the keys to the colleges back to people who care about agriculture and our food supply.
"Our farmers grow our food and without agricultural colleges, we don't have the next generation coming through to grow that food. Brisbane folk eat the food we grow them out here in country Queensland and we need them to fight for us on this one.”
Federal Member for Flynn, Ken O'Dowd, has echoed these sentiments.
"The announcement could not have come at a worse time with drought, water shortage effecting both Emerald and Longreach.” Mr O'Dowd said.
"Both colleges have worked very well in the past providing training and educating of our future generations of passionate farmers, horticulturalists and pastoralists.”
AgForce general president Georgie Somerset said the colleges were too important to agriculture, and to the many rural and regional communities that depend on agriculture, to allow them to be axed.
"We believe these are unique, irreplaceable assets and we are currently engaging with organisations and community groups around the State to elicit their support and ideas to save them,” Mrs Somerset said.
"The response so far has been overwhelmingly in favour of an industry-led solution.
"AgForce's plan is to overhaul these institutions and the services they offer to form the backbone of a comprehensive, future-looking rural research and education system that offers benefits beyond agriculture.”