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Hartsuyker secures Deputy Prime Minister's support in push for infrastructure funds at Southern Cross University.

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Media Contact: Greg Pierce 02 66 52 62 33 0408 532 785 Canberra: 62 77 4447

Luke Hartsuyker MP Federal Member for Cowper


January 16, 2004

Hartsuyker secures Deputy Prime Minister’s support in push for infrastructure funds at Southern Cross University

The Nationals Federal Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, has secured the “in principle” support of Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Nationals leader, John Anderson, in the campaign to build a new purpose built facility at Southern Cross University for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Nursing degree.

On Friday Mr Anderson and Mr Hartsuyker held discussions about additional infrastructure at the Coffs Harbour Education Campus with campus executive director Warren Grimshaw and Dr John Stevens from the university’s school of nursing.

The Coffs Harbour campus of SCU will commence studies in the Bachelor of Nursing degree this year, with 35 places initially being funded.

Over the next four years the Australian Government has committed an extra 41 places for the nursing degree at Coffs Harbour.

Since the university confirmed the Bachelor of Nursing degree would have a presence in Coffs Harbour, Mr Hartsuyker has been working on a plan with the Coffs Harbour Education Campus and Southern Cross University, relating to the need for additional infrastructure at the campus.

Mr Hartsuyker said both the Federal education Minister, Dr Brendan Nelson, and the Minister for Ageing, Julie Bishop, had been fully briefed on the need to develop the Bachelor of Nursing degree at Coffs Harbour’s campus.

However, Mr Hartsuyker said the Deputy Prime Minister’s commitment to closely look at the nursing facility proposal was very welcome and a positive step in trying to secure up to $500,000 in Australian Government assistance.

“John Anderson knows better than most that one of the best ways to encourage more young nurses to practice in regional areas is to educate them there,” Mr Hartsuyker said.

“He has always been a strong supporter of the Coffs Harbour campus of SCU and his commitment to back the principle behind the purpose built facility proposal is welcome.

“There is still a lot of work to be done on the nursing facility proposal but the Deputy Prime Minister has asked me to provide some additional details relating to this year’s launch of the Bachelor of Nursing Degree at Coffs Harbour and the need for infrastructure funds.

“With the higher education reforms now passed by the Parliament, the Coffs Harbour campus has a real opportunity to grow in some specific areas and I see nursing as one of the key areas which our university can focus on.

“That is good news for students, good news for the parents of local students and a welcome boost for the region’s economy where the Coffs Harbour Education Campus plays such an important role.”