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Monday, 19 October 2015
Page: 11714

Mrs WICKS (Robertson) (16:36): I was privileged to be able to address the Central Coast education summit at the Impact Centre in Erina this morning. Organised by the University of Newcastle, the summit was a great opportunity to explore potential strategies and priorities for higher education on the Central Coast and help shape the workforce of the future. I would like to recognise the leadership of Vice-Chancellor Caroline McMillen, who along with the board of the university have got a really strong vision and determination to see the Central Coast become a region of world-class educational excellence. I am a huge personal supporter of the plans that the University of Newcastle is currently exploring, plans that would see an outstanding Central Coast medical school and possible medical research institute located on the grounds of Gosford hospital. It is a plan that has attracted a strong groundswell of support, including from the Central Coast area health service, already a leader in its own field. And no wonder there is such strong support, when you envisage what the opportunities would do for our local students to study a medical degree—studying not just in Sydney, not just in Newcastle but in Gosford. There are so many pieces of a puzzle and we are working together to make possible more huge opportunities and innovation for our region, which include our commitment for 600 new jobs in to Gosford and the possibility of a strong graduate pathway for our local young people from this centre of excellence. Whether this takes one year, five years or 20 years, one day I believe we will see more opportunity— (Time expired)