Construction of the University of the Sunshine Coast’s Petrie Campus is gaining momentum with the opening of the state of the art precinct now only 18 months away.


Federal Member for Dickson Peter Dutton, Federal Member for Petrie Luke Howarth and Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham attended the site today to mark the start of construction of the new campus.


The Federal Member for Dickson Peter Dutton said it was great to see construction of this important project underway. 


“In just over 18 months this site will be a thriving and bustling university precinct,” Mr Dutton said.


“It’s exciting to think that thousands of students from northern Brisbane and the southern Moreton Bay region will soon have the opportunity to attend university in their own backyard.


“Whilst this opens up opportunities for local students, we’ve also started to see the value of the Petrie campus for local businesses and this will only increase when the campus is up and running.”


The Federal Member for Petrie Luke Howarth said it’s very exciting to be turning the sod today and acknowledged that without the support of the Federal Government, this project would not have happened.


“Thousands of young people in the Moreton Bay region will benefit over the decades ahead from the Federal Coalition Government’s strong support for this University campus.” Mr Howarth said.


The Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Coalition Government’s funding for the construction works in addition to its commitment early this year of $69.4 million for bachelor places from 2020 would give students from the Dickson, Petrie and Longman electorates the choice to study locally.


“Local students will soon have access to higher education opportunities across more than 50 study programs designed to help them secure jobs locally and to ultimately create more jobs locally,” Mr Birmingham said.


“These Turnbull Government investments will also enable USC to work with local industries and build collaborative partnerships to produce skilled graduates that meet the region’s needs.


“I expect the USC Petrie campus to transform collaboration with local industries and to also become a key hub for research and innovation for the Moreton Bay region.


“While the Turnbull Government has been committed to this new campus since before the last election, Labor has recently been trying to play catch up yet have still refused to match all of the investments we’re making.”


The Government’s support for the USC Petrie Campus includes $69.4 million for 1,200 bachelor degree places in 2020, then 2,400 bachelor places in 2021 and 3,600 ongoing places from 2022. This is on top of a $35 million grant to the Moreton Bay Regional Council for infrastructure support and a $121 million loan facility to USC at concessional rates.


The USC Moreton Bay Regional University Precinct will include contemporary interactive teaching and learning spaces and a research and innovation hub.