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Regional universities at the heart of regional development.

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Regional Universities At The Heart Of Regional Development Martin Ferguson - Shadow Minister for Regional Development

Media Statement - 14 February 2001

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Regional universities will become major drivers of regional development under a Beazley Labor Government, Shadow Regional Development Minister, Martin Ferguson, said today.

"Under Labor's new initiatives, regional universities will be boosted through improved telecommunications links and the creation of 400 new fully funded postgraduate research training places," Mr Ferguson said from Lismore on the NSW coast.

"In many regional areas, universities are big employers that make a significant contribution to the local economy, and that is why Labor is placing regional universities at the heart of regional development.

"Developing regional universities offers opportunities for people to stay in their local communities which in turn helps stem the brain drain to the cities.

"By boosting regional universities, Labor is aiming to ensure that every Australian community will be able to participate in the Knowledge Nation.

"Federal, state and local governments must create new partnerships with communities to ensure our businesses are competitive, our people are skilled and all Australians share the benefits of economic growth.

"We need a Government that is prepared to do the hard work in regional Australia, and listen to the real concerns of country people.

"Having been ignored and neglected by the Howard Government for the past five years, people in regional Australia want action rather than words.

"Labor's initiatives to boost regional universities are another important step in the rebuilding process.

"Only Labor is prepared to invest in the future of our regions."

Authorised by Geoff Walsh, 19 National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600.