The Upper Spencer Gulf Community Tertiary Education Centre (COTEC) has received $1.11 million in funding from the Coalition Government, as apart of a $19.4 million regional package allocation for the Upper Spencer Gulf.
COTEC will commence with campuses in Port Pirie and Port Augusta and will broker and support local delivery of higher education to meet emerging industry and skilled workforce needs of the region.
Federal Member for Grey, Rowan Ramsey has lobbied to have the funds given to the Upper Spencer Gulf Common Purpose Group and says it is a great example of how the government can partner with business and community groups to drive growth, create jobs and stimulate economic activity.
“Creating new job opportunities is crucial to ensuring a strong and vibrant future for local communities in the Upper Spencer Gulf and this important government initiative will have significant long-term benefits for our region and our state”, Mr Ramsey said.
Mr Ramsey was joined by Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, John McVeigh who says the Upper Spencer Gulf was chosen due to its recent economic challenges and is apart of 10 other regions across the country who have also been chosen.
“Regions that still have so much potential for the future. Rather than see economic activity decline and potentially lose young, skilled people to other areas, particularly capital cities. We have identified regions that we really wanted support for regional job and investments.
“Regional South Australia offers so much potential for not only the state but the whole country. You only need to move around Port Pirie, Port Augusta and Whyalla to understand the tremendous history from agriculture, the resources sector, steel manufacturing etc”, the Minister said.
The Mayor of the Port Pirie Regional Council says this is a prime opportunity to put the value of tertiary education back into the region.
“We lose so many young people to the capital cities and to have the opportunity to keep young people here I think is really important.”
“It also give industry an opportunity to target the skills they require to build their businesses, to get this investment from the Federal Government I think is very important.”
The money is set to be spent on the design of how COTEC will work, and then the rest will be spent on the infrastructure build.
Several other announcements were made including investments of up to $19.4 million into Port Augusta and Whyalla.