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EDITORIAL: ‘Red-letter’ day for region

INNOVATION. Diversity.

Words which have been thrown around, as part of the local vernacular, with considerable frequency of late.

And, to the region's credit, progress is being made.

Yesterday we bore witness to a landmark moment in our region's development, with the opening of CQUniversity's Rennie Fritschy Engineering Building at Ooralea.

Vice Chancellor Professor Scott Bowman declared the occasion a "red-letter" moment for the university; a key step in cementing what started as a tiny campus in the cane fields as a fully-fledged Mackay university.

Having completed my under-graduate and Masters degrees through CQU, and now, as a member of the university council, it was a proud moment for me, personally, on several levels.

It's as a long-time Mackay resident, though, that this means most.

The potential that comes from being a "university town" transcends academia, research and fancy frocks and gowns.

The benefits of this university's growth - and the gains to be had from real and tangible engagement with community and industry - will benefit every single facet of this region and its economy.

Gains like this give us the confidence and mettle to make other major projects happen.

We can back ourselves on the bold, big-ticket campaigns. We can attract projects such as the Chinatown precinct and have the faith in our ability to call loud and long for the likes of the CQU sports precinct and the Walkerston bypass.

Each of these are clear and unapologetic bids to make this region all it can be.

Just add a dynamic and independent, member-based economic development body and we might really be on the right track.


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