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Labor Budget $20m cut to Charles Sturt University means pain for Orange and Bathurst

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31 May 2013

Labor Budget $20m cut to Charles Sturt University means pain for Orange and Bathurst

The Gillard Government Budget has confirmed Charles Sturt University is to cop a $20 million hit which will hurt not just its campuses in Orange, Bathurst and Dubbo, but also small business and jobs in those communities, according to Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Education, Senator Fiona Nash, and the Nationals Member for Calare, John Cobb.

“I have been talking to regional university vice-chancellors ever since Labor announced these cuts last month and it is abundantly clear regional universities will be hit much harder than their city counterparts,” Senator Nash said.

Local MP and Shadow Agriculture Minister, John Cobb, said it was “a particularly cruel blow” for Orange and Bathurst which would be major beneficiaries from CSU plans for increased regional medical training.

“CSU estimates that these cuts will cost it $20m over the forward estimates. When you consider investment in universities has a local economic multiplier effect of around

five, you begin to realise how hard this is going to hurt our small businesses and the entire region,” Mr Cobb said.

“This is an appalling cut by Labor and shows once again that this Government just doesn’t care about regional Australia.”

Charles Sturt University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Andrew Vann, has described the Labor Budget cuts as “short-sighted, unwise, illogical and undercutting our future prosperity.”

“On top of that, about half of the cost will be borne directly by students and their families in increased costs for them. We also know that cost is one of the key factors that prevent regional students from attending university and we are worried about the impacts on regional participation,” Professor Vann says on the CSU website.

Despite these cuts, CSU's Vice-Chancellor Vann has made clear his determination to continue its push for a medical school to address rural doctor shortages, and will ensure CSU continues to deliver high quality teaching and learning that advances the needs of rural and regional communities.

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