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Northern Rivers students get engineering and science boos



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SENATOR THE HON CHRIS EVANS Leader of the Government in the Senate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research

JANELLE SAFFIN MP Federal Member for Page

MEDIA RELEASE

24 January 2013

Northern Rivers students get engineering and science boost

Rewarding careers in science and engineering will soon be more accessible for Lismore students thanks to a $27.9 million investment by the Gillard Government’s Education Investment Fund.

Minister for Tertiary Education, Senator Chris Evans, today announced Southern Cross University’s Lismore campus will build a new science and engineering precinct thanks to the Regional Priorities Round of the Education Investment Fund.

The $39 million Engineering and Science @ SCU project includes construction of a new Learning Centre and refurbishment of the existing library that will expand SCU’s capacity in engineering and science courses.

“The Gillard Government believes all students should have access to first class facilities, no matter where they live,” Senator Evans said.

“Our targeted investments are giving students in regional Australia access to better quality education and training opportunities, helping to support increased participation and in turn, meeting important skills needs of regional communities.”

Federal Member for Page, Janelle Saffin, said the project's construction is injecting $77 million into the local economy and will create more than 120 direct and indirect jobs.

“Within the first ten years, the project will be worth an estimated $135 million to the economy and bring an additional 576 Engineering graduates and 345 Science and Regional Planning graduates in the workforce,” Ms Saffin said.

“I like the double impact of investing dollars into our local economy and creating jobs now and for our younger generation as we prepare for the future.

“This project will establish the first stage of a Science and Engineering Precinct at SCU and make Lismore a regional hub for studying in these fields.

“It means SCU will be able to offer more undergraduate student places in these regionally and nationally important areas of skills demand. The facilities will also pave the way for five new bachelor degree courses in Science, Engineering and Regional Planning.”

The project involves refurbishment of the existing library to provide core teaching and research infrastructure for the new science and engineering programs, including 10 purpose-built laboratories.

It also includes the construction of a new Learning Centre which will contain new teaching and student spaces and library facilities to improve access to digital education resources and create a stimulating tertiary environment.

Senator Evans’ Media Contact: Amy McKenna 0408 570 603 Janelle Saffin’s Media Contact: Lee Duncan 0448 158 150