Mal Forman on the site of the proposed agricultural college.
Mal Forman on the site of the proposed agricultural college. Mike Knott

$19m ag college to lead the way

AGRICULTURE and employment are set to flourish with the anticipated development approval of a $19 million agricultural college in Givelda.

More than 50 jobs are expected to be created if the Bundaberg Regional Council gives the Bundaberg Christian Rural College's application the final nod to go ahead.

School chairman Mal Forman said the facility would be a huge boost to the industry.

"Once it's been given approval, we'll start getting ready to build in 2013 and to open the college in 2014," he said.

The college will have the enrolment capacity of about 400 students, with the facilities to house 160 of them as boarders.

Mr Forman said there were about nine construction stages for the educational centre, with the first stage expected to cost $5.5 million.

"It's a big project," he said.

"We want to try to get young people interested in agriculture, to stay on the land and make a career out of it."

Despite not yet having the project council-approved, Mr Forman said the school had already received a huge amount of interest.

"We have had about 60 students that have registered their interest to come to the school when it opens," he said.

Mr Forman said once the development was approved, the college would target students in the South Burnett, North Burnett and Bundaberg and Wide Bay regions, with the hope of then promoting the school internationally and nation-wide.

"This is the only other college of a similar kind between Emerald and Dalby," he said.

"I think we're strategically positioned here."

Aside from teaching the required core school curriculum, Mr Forman said the college would offer programs including equine and small crops studies as well as teaching skills such as mustering techniques and how to produce hay for stock feed.

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