by Amber Hooker
CQUNIVERSITY'S $15 million super campus plan is on hold as bosses enter further consultation
The move came after Queensland Teachers Union (QTU) president Kevin Bates aired concerns over the closure of the Canning St campus, formerly CQ TAFE, which would move to the Rockhampton North centre.
On March 8, the university revealed plans to create a "state-of-the-art facility" to refurbish the existing spaces on campus.
The new training centre would include a kitchen, restaurant and hair and beauty salons.
Vice-Chancellor and President's Office director Joanne Perry, speaking on behalf of the vice-chancellor and president professor Scott Bowman, yesterday confirmed they would "put project consolidation plans on hold for the Rockhampton campuses".
"We note there have been some concerns raised by staff and their union representatives regarding the Rockhampton Campus Consolidation Project," Ms Perry said.
"We do take the concerns of our staff very seriously and are committed to engaging and consulting with all of our stakeholders including staff, students, community partners and our local government representatives.
"The university is still very committed to providing the best possible facilities for vocational education and training in Rockhampton.
"However in light of the concerns raised, it seems that the best decision for now is to put the project plans on hold for Rockhampton."
In the next week or so the vice-chancellor and key senior staff will be holding further staff and community information sessions to discuss this project further and will continue sharing project details as plans progress.
Ms Perry said over the past months, many meetings and information sessions had been held with staff, industry partners and key government officials.
"CQUniversity acknowledges there has been concerns raised by university staff and their union representatives.
"To this end, we will put project consolidation plans on hold for the Rockhampton campuses, and continue with the consultation phase before progressing further.
"This will obviously have an effect on project completion timelines, however we will ensure all relevant parties are kept up-to-date with the process."
Mr Bates yesterday said QTU members were "not entirely convinced" the new facilities would be equal to those they were giving up.
Mr Bates also said it was a "fairly major change to pack up one workplace and move them somewhere else", which could see a change in facilities which teachers have access to.
But Ms Perry assured the move to consolidate the Rockhampton campuses was to deliver "state-of-the art facilities equal to, or better than" those on offer at the Rockhampton City campus.
"In fact, our objective as part of this project is to deliver a trades training facility to the same high standard as the centre built at our Mackay Ooralea campus prior to the merger," he said.