Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges in Longreach and Emerald were closed this week.
Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges in Longreach and Emerald were closed this week. Nita Siggins

Key players not consulted in closure of Agricultural College

RURAL advocates have spoken against the closure of Queensland's pastoral colleges, claiming their voices have been ignored by the state government.

The ICPA is looking for answers, and state president of the organisation Tammie Irons said that despite being the premier body representing the interests of rural and remote students, they were not consulted.

"ICPA QLD regularly engages with the State Government in and regularly participates in forums, inquiries and roundtables at the invitation of the government,” she said.

"Despite this, ICPA QLD was not consulted as part of the Coaldrake Review.”

Ms Irons said axing the Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges in Longreach and Emerald shows the government is undervaluing the contribution made by rural Queenslanders.

"The media release issued by Minister Furner is scant on detail when it comes to what this plan involves, and how they are going to improve educational opportunities available to people desiring a career in agriculture,” she said.

"Investment in planning and strategies as outlined in the media release cannot deliver what face to face, practically applied training can and does.”

AgForce has also slammed the decision, and president Georgie Somerset gave a scathing indictment of the decision.

"It is shameful that our industry has been roundly ignored by the Government and by Prof Peter Coaldrake on this issue, when we have historically been so involved in and connected to the Colleges,” she said.

"Minister Furner claims to have consulted more than 70 organisations, so it is perplexing that AgForce was not one of them, especially given our memorandum of understanding with QATC.”

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