Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar, Cotton Growers Association representative Aaron Keily, Shadow Agricultural Minister Tony Perrett and Ian Burnett from AgForce at the Emerald Agricultural College.
Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar, Cotton Growers Association representative Aaron Keily, Shadow Agricultural Minister Tony Perrett and Ian Burnett from AgForce at the Emerald Agricultural College. Kristen Booth

AgForce demands agricultural colleges back for Queensland

AGFORCE has demanded the Queensland Government hand the keys to the Longreach and Emerald agricultural colleges back to the industry.

AgForce has acted quickly to save the iconic colleges after the State Government's decision to close them, announced last week.

General president Georgie Somerset said the colleges are too important to agriculture, and to many rural and regional communities that depend on agriculture, to allow them to be axed.

"We believe these are unique, irreplaceable assets and we are currently engaging with organisations and community groups around the State to elicit their support and ideas to save them,” she said.

The response so far is overwhelmingly in favour of an industry-led solution.

"AgForce's plan is to overhaul these institutions and the services they offer to form the backbone of a comprehensive, future-looking rural research and education system that offers benefits beyond agriculture,” Mrs Somerset said.

"These well-equipped colleges, with their unique locations and infrastructure, offer opportunities to support profitable and sustainable agriculture in areas like carbon-neutral farming, drought mitigation, flora and fauna conservation, and reef preservation.”

AgForce said this should instead be an opportunity to reform education and skills training available to rural Queenslanders.

South Burnett

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