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Agribusiness Bachelor degree left hanging at Muresk

For more information, contact Mia Davies (Leader | Member for Central Wheatbelt).

Nationals WA Leader and Member for Central Wheatbelt Mia Davies MLA says students seeking careers in the agri-sector are the latest victims of the McGowan Government’s inability to rectify the State finances.

Nationals WA Leader and Member for Central Wheatbelt Mia Davies MLA says students seeking careers in the agri-sector are the latest victims of the McGowan Government’s inability to rectify the State finances.

The State Government has confirmed they will provide no further funding support for the Bachelor of Agribusiness being offered by Charles Sturt University (CSU) at the Muresk Institute.

“The Premier and Treasurer stubbornly refuse to consider a new revenue stream or the sale of assets to reduce State debt while ploughing forward with their multi-billion dollar commitment to Metronet,” Ms Davies said.

She said the Curtin University two-year associate degree did not meet the expectations of industry who had backed the Bachelor degree offered by Charles Sturt University with their own resources and time since its introduction.

“So much effort by the previous Government, industry and employees has gone into re-establishing the campus as a centre for excellence in agriculture, but this has clearly been lost on a Minister whose focus is elsewhere,” she said.

“Charles Sturt University stepped up where others refused to engage and while there have been some challenges, they are not insurmountable.

“No-one is arguing for perpetual funding – but they do require some additional funding to enable student numbers to reach a sustainable level.”

Ms Davies said she would need to be convinced that Curtin University was committed to Muresk, given their withdrawal a few short years ago that left the Institute in a parlous state.

“Every West Australian university had the opportunity to work with Government to establish a degree level course, on-campus, meeting the needs of industry and students – but they chose not to,” she said.

“The two-year associate degree will no doubt require students to spend part of their studies at Curtin’s Bentley campus in Perth, detracting from their ability to complete quality tertiary education in a regional setting.”

In its first few months the Labor Government has walked away from funding support for Muresk, removed the Director of agricultural education from the Department and cut $6 million from grower group research and development programs. The early signs from this Government are not good for agriculture sector or the communities that rely on it.

WA Nationals’ Education and Training spokesman Peter Rundle MLA said in its first few months the Labor Government has walked away from funding support for Muresk, removed the Director of agricultural education from the Department and cut $6 million from grower group research and development programs.

“The early signs from this Government are not good for agriculture sector or the communities that rely on it,” he said.

For media enquiries please contact Mia Davies on 9622 2871 (Northam office), 9041 1702 (Merredin office) or email mia.davies@mp.wa.gov.au.