Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Liberal News

Support for eastern suburbs university

Liberal Announcement

Premier Colin Barnett has announced the Liberals’ plan, if re-elected, to see the establishment of a university campus in Midland to provide tertiary education opportunities to Perth’s eastern suburbs, hills and regional areas.

“We are committed to providing better access to tertiary education to people in the eastern suburbs and promoting opportunities in this region,” Mr Barnett said.

“A university in Midland would serve people across the east metropolitan region including Ellenbrook, Forrestfield, the Swan Valley, the hills and regional areas.”

Mr Barnett said Curtin University had a clear interest in delivering tertiary education to Midland.

“A Liberal Government will make land in the Midland Railway Workshop Precinct, near the new Midland Public Hospital, available for lease at a peppercorn rent.”

“We will also commit $22million for construction of the facility,” Mr Barnett said.

“I would expect the university to offer a broad range of courses at the campus. This would include medicine if Curtin’s bid to establish a medical school is successful as well as allied health – such as nursing – business studies, education, and engineering.

“The Liberal Government supports Curtin’s bid to have a medical school. The Midland site, located next to the Midland Public Hospital, offers obvious opportunities in this regard.”

Education Minister Peter Collier said the project will be delivered through the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority which will work closely with Curtin University to design and build an outstanding facility suitable for university use at the former Midland Railway Workshops. The new campus will house up to 600 students and staff.

“This campus will be an important first step in creating a university presence in the region and reflects the Liberal Party commitment to ensuring the community has access to the highest possible standard of education, whether that is through our primary or secondary schools, training or tertiary education,” Mr Collier said.

“For too long, people from Perth’s eastern suburbs have been under-represented in tertiary education and this is due, in part, to not having easy access to a campus.

“Tertiary attainment rates in the region are 10 per cent lower than the rest of the metropolitan area. Clearly this is not acceptable.”

Mr Collier said an important factor was that Midland served as a gateway for regional areas and today’s announcement would help make accessing tertiary education that much easier for people in country areas.

“Midland also has a relatively large indigenous population and higher education participation by this student population is very low compared to overall levels of participation in the Perth metropolitan area,” he said.

“The City of Swan and Swan Chamber of Commerce have also been strongly supportive of the development of a university presence because it will also stimulate regional development.”

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