New lease of life for Emerald college facilities

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries The Honourable Mark Furner

Central Highlands Regional Council has a new home for its Local Disaster Coordination Centre after signing a three-year lease, with an option for a 5-year extension, on a building at the Emerald Training Facility.

Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Mark Furner said Council had used the site on the Capricorn Highway to set up its COVID-19 Control Centre earlier this year.

“This arrangement has been working well and I’m very happy that Council is extending its lease on a more long-term basis,” Mr Furner said.

“The Queensland Government is currently upgrading the building to a commercial standard with works due to be finalised before the end of the year.

“That will allow Council’s Emergency Management Control Centre to be fully operational from the start of 2021.”

Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Kerry Hayes said he was grateful to have the opportunity to tenant the former administrative building for its COVID response centre and Disaster Management activities.

“Whilst we have had the use of the site on a temporary basis a more permanent use will provide our disaster coordinator and his team with a dedicated facility for the medium to longer term,” Mayor Hayes said.

Mr Furner said this was another positive outcome for regional communities after earlier this year confirming that a local butcher had leased the slaughterhouse of the Longreach Training Facility to repurpose it as a small-scale abattoir.

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries continues to assess a range of proposals on how to best repurpose facilities with commercially sustainable future uses for former college assets,” he said.

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