I was most disappointed to hear of the shock announcement of the closure of the Pastoral Colleges at Longreach and Emerald.
As a former foundation year student from 1967, the Longreach Pastoral College did a lot to enhance the prospects of young people wishing to make a career of life on the land.
On graduation night every student from that year had a job to go to.
A number of boys from city backgrounds who had no previous experience in the rural industry finished up in some of the most sought after jobs in the pastoral industry.
One student from that background I recall finished up as the manager of one of the biggest cattle stations in Australia.
The Longreach Pastoral College did a lot to enhance the prospects of young people wishing to make a career of life on the land
A variety of subjects, which included veterinary science, horsemanship, general station, engineering, sheep and wool classing, animal breeding and genetics, field husbandry, as well as animal production and management gave everyone a broad spectrum of knowledge to help make a career of life in the rural industry.
Very sadly this opportunity will no longer be there for many young people who would envisage a career in the rural industry following the announcement on Thursday.
Peter Bredhauer runs Darling Downs Bloodstock, at Cottonwood Park, Cambooya.
A very sad day
I, who was a proud foundation student of the Longreach Pastoral College way back in its conception in 1967 – was devastated to receive an email stating that the government announced that the QATC will wind up by December 31, 2019.
However, it is even more devastating than that – the residential enrolments cease immediately.
The government has stated that they will continue with the current enrolments, which are nine high school students, once a week. The government will invest $30m to reshape training. A project management team will be appointed to wind the colleges up. I believe the government has allocated $7m for this.
The sad thing about all this, is that the government has know about the future of the Longreach and Emerald Campuses for a very long time
In history there are many dates that reflect both happiness and also sadness – on this occasion, December 5, 2018 is one of those sad days that will be remembered for many years to come by the 3000+ students (male and female) who passed through the gates of the Longreach Pastoral College over the past 51 years.
There are past foundation students whom are not with us anymore and I would hate to think what they maybe thinking at this very moment – probably turning in their graves.
This icon of the central west along with the Emerald Campus have been thrown into utter chaos. There will no doubt be staff redundancies (as it won’t take many people to look after nine day students one day a week).
The sad thing about all this, is that the government has known about the future of the Longreach and Emerald Campuses for a very long time.
Over the last few months repeated questions have been asked – but the reply has either been a stony silence or the giving of false hopes to all concerned. The economies of the communities of Longreach and Emerald will be greatly affected – especially Longreach.
All we can do now is stand by and watch what the wash up of all this will mean.
Peter Williams is a management committee member of the Longreach Pastoral College past staff and students association.