CQUni unveils grand vision for a more sustainable Gladstone
Published on 21 December, 2011
CQUniversity has unveiled its grand vision for a more sustainable Gladstone, with plans for a number of cutting-edge developments to tackle the region's most pressing issues...
Among the proposed developments are a state-of-the-art marine research and rehabilitation facility, an early childhood education and training hub, and a mixed-use affordable accommodation complex for students and the wider community.
CQUniversity Gladstone head of campus, Professor Chad Hewitt said Gladstone's rapid growth had been the focus of national and international attention.
"As one of the fastest-growing regions in Australia, and home to Queensland's largest multi-commodity port, the eyes of the nation are now on Gladstone," Professor Hewitt said.
"Those eyes are watching carefully to see how we address this rapid growth in a sustainable way - one that takes into account the social and environmental impacts of the industrial boom.
"As Gladstone's university, CQUniversity has a significant role to play in contributing to sustainable growth, by educating and training the region's future workforce and by undertaking research that provides innovative solutions to local problems.
"With these proposed developments, we hope to do just that. I look forward to CQUniversity taking these important steps towards contributing to the future sustainability of the Gladstone region."
At a glance, the proposed developments that make up CQUniversity's vision for Gladstone include:
- Marine Research and Rehabilitation Facility
- World-class rehabilitation and treatment facility for sick and injured marine mammals, turtles and seabirds
- Hub for research into marine life, water quality, biosecurity and ecotoxicology
- Visitor centre targeting community and school education
- Independent capability to monitor and assess the health of Gladstone Harbour and the southern Great Barrier Reef Marine Park
- Support for the establishment of a proposed CQUniversity Bachelor of Marine Studies and postgraduate marine studies, with a focus on marine conservation
- Centre for Early Childhood Education, Training and Research
- Dedicated education and training facility for the region's future early childhood education workforce, with a focus on improving staff attraction and retention
- Work-integrated learning centre for CQUniversity Bachelor of Learning Management (Early Childhood Education) students and future TAFE cohort
- Research hub for early childhood development and innovative models of childcare delivery
- Fully integrated, professionally staffed childcare centre for around 50 children, including around-the-clock childcare for shift-working families
- Aligned with CQUniversity's commitment to children in Gladstone, following its signing of the Gladstone Region Child and Family Charter in 2010
- Gladstone CBD accommodation development
- Partnership with developer to build around 100 units for mixed tenancy
- Development of prime CBD site in Glenlyon Street
- CQUniversity student accommodation to allow out-of-town and international students to study in Gladstone
- Affordable community accommodation to address shortages
- Cost-neutral joint venture for the University
Gladstone Regional Council Mayor, Cr Gail Sellers said the proposed CQUniversity developments would be a great asset to the Gladstone region.
"Not only will these developments contribute positively to sustainable growth in the Gladstone region, they will also add to the vibrancy of the community and to the diversity of the local economy," Cr Sellers said.
"I congratulate CQUniversity on its foresight in recognising the importance of sustainable growth to the booming Gladstone region and I look forward to seeing this vision realised."
Professor Hewitt encouraged industry, government and community representatives to "come to the table" and discuss the proposed developments and funding options with CQUniversity.
"Now that the initial proposals are on the table, we are actively seeking development partners to help us make our vision for Gladstone a reality," he said.
"These projects will have positive flow-on benefits for business, government and the community at large; it's only right that these groups have input into shaping the vision and bringing it to fruition, for the collective good of the region.
"CQUniversity aims to be the most engaged university in Australia and with these projects, we can really demonstrate that aim at the local level, right here in Gladstone.
CQUniversity is currently finalising the expression of interest process for its accommodation project, with building by the preferred partner expected to begin in the New Year, and the first dwellings ready to move into by end-2012.
Meanwhile, feasibility investigations for the marine facility and early childhood facility are now underway, with CQUniversity expected to make decisions on project scope and funding options early next year.