NEW CHAPTER: The Emerald Ag College site will now host Central Highlands Regional Council’s Local Disaster Coordination Centre. Photo Simon Green
NEW CHAPTER: The Emerald Ag College site will now host Central Highlands Regional Council’s Local Disaster Coordination Centre. Photo Simon Green

REVEALED: Emerald college facilities get new lease on life

EMERALD’S Agricultural College will experience a new lease on life after shutting its doors for good at the end of 2019.

Central Highlands Regional Council has signed a three-year lease (with an option for a 5-year extension) to convert one of the training facility’s buildings into a new home for its Local Disaster Coordination Centre.

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 co-ordinator and his team with a dedicated facility for the medium to longer term,” Cr Hayes said.

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

Minister Mark Furner said his Department was continuing to weigh up a range of proposals on how best to repurpose Emerald Ag College’s facilities. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL
Minister Mark Furner said his Department was continuing to weigh up a range of proposals on how best to repurpose Emerald Ag College’s facilities. PHOTO: ALI KUCHEL

“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.”

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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