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Agricultural Trade College Exciting News for Circular Head

10 February 2012

Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam today welcomed the $4.25 million announcement for the Agricultural Trade College in Smithton.

Funded as part of the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement, Cr Quilliam said Council was absolutely thrilled about the announcement.

"This announcement has the potential to redefine our future as a region," Cr Quilliam said.

"Offering everything from the basics of agriculture training, right through to high-level management skills, this college will have large scale impacts and enduring benefits."

Cr Quilliam said Circular Head had a deep and enduring advantage in agricultural pursuits, which when considered in addition to Circular Head's geographic location, made the region the most strategic place in Australia for pasture-based farming.

"This College is the light at the end of the tunnel for our municipality, it will act as an impetus for the redefinition of Circular Head," Mayor Quilliam said.

"So often, our dairy industry comes to the point of reinventing itself and this college will allow us to grow new generation of dairy and beef farmers."

Mayor Quilliam said the announcement would be welcome news to not only existing processors, but also new developments such as the new milk processing factory at Smithton.

"The lack of job opportunities and training in this area has been well documented for some time," Mayor Quilliam said.

"This announcement allows us to look to hundreds of new farmers being trained here to work in not only Tasmania, but also further afield."

Mayor Quiliam said that there was an expectation that people from the mainland would be attracted to the college by the range of courses available.

"Once the college is up and running I am sure there will be many flow on effects to the Circular Head community," Mr Quilliam said.

Mayor Quilliam said Council was happy to be able to present the enormous economic potential of the area last year to Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, Simon Crean, Economic Development Minister David O'Byrne, and IGA facilitators Bill Kelty, Lindsay Fox and Jonathan West.

"We are delighted that the Australian and State Government has listened to our pleas and assessed this proposal as a hand up rather than a hand out," Mayor Quilliam said.

Mayor Quilliam congratulated the Circular Head Christian School, John van Ardichem and the VDL Directors and staff for the presentation and support for the projects we listed during this visit.

"From that process we can now look forward to development of an Agricultural Trade College, which will have the capacity and  specialists to deliver post-secondary trade certificates and apprenticeship-based practical training that will lead to diploma level and onto university," Mayor Quiliam said.

This college will break down many of the barriers faced by students in our area relating to accessing post-secondary education."

Mayor Quilliam said it was now up to the Circular Head community to embrace the project and look forward to serious and sustainable growth.

Circular Head General Manager Greg Winton said the announcement would have a significant economic benefit to the region.

"This project has the capacity to shift the economic base of our municipality, while also offering additional educational opportunities for our young people," Mr Winton said.

"The flow on effects during both construction and operation to Circular Head will be seen across the business sector.

"Our community has now been given an opportunity to turn itself around and focus on the future.

"This is particularly the case considering the reduction in forestry and other traditional industries in the region