CQU supports growth but will not move into CBD
CQUNIVERSITY'S Bundaberg associate vice-chancellor Luke Sinclair says the prospect of a level five hospital for the region provides a great opportunity for expansion.
Luke Sinclair was speaking after a plan to relocate the hospital into Bundaberg's CBD, alongside a new university campus, was floated by council's economic director Ben Artup last week.
Mr Sinclair said while the plan included a university, it wouldn't be CQU.
"CQUniversity was interested to learn of plans for the future of Bundaberg's CBD including a CBD university campus,” Mr Sinclair said.
"It would however be unfeasible for us to relocate our current operations and facilities.
"It should be noted that over the years we have made considerable investment in current facilities and course offerings at our University Drive site.
"In particular, we have invested heavily in purpose-built facilities such as labs, teaching spaces, a gym and the accident investigation laboratory. The accident forensics lab in particular, is the only facility of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and includes artefacts such as a plane and a several train carriages and rail track.”
Mr Sinclair said the university had a long association with Bundaberg and they were committed to supporting the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service "as they work through the important feasibility process with the State Government to secure this outcome (an upgraded or new hospital)”.
WBHHS board chair Peta Jamieson this week distanced herself from the CBD plan, saying the health board had not had any input into it and site considerations were yet to be finalised.
Yesterday businesses in the CBD were hand-delivered a letter from Ms Jamieson.
"You may have heard information released recently by Bundaberg Regional Council that a new hospital could be earmarked on or near your block of land ...” the letter read.
"Please be aware these plans have been developed without input or involvement from the Wide Bay Hospital and Health board.”
Mr Sinclair said the prospect of a new level five hospital was "tremendously exciting”.
"(It) would provide a great opportunity for us to further expand the university's offerings in the medical, nursing and allied health areas,” he said. "A development such as this, would have a strong and positive impact on the local community.”
He said CQUniversity had serviced the Bundaberg and Wide Bay region "for more than a quarter of a century”.
"We are continually looking at innovative and new ways to support the local community and attract more students to the region,” Mr Sinclair said.