Millions for meadows 

Millions for meadows 

Agritas Trade College’s latest project now has support from both sides of government. 

Federal Member for Braddon Justine Keay was in Smithton on Monday to commit $6 million to the Duck River Meadows project should Labor win the federal election on May 18. 

Tasmanian Nationals Senator Steve Martin provided $4.8 million in March to fund the development of a robotic dairy and heritage hub at the Nelson Street centre. 

The additional $1.2 million means Agritas can engage with the local industry to deliver training for current and projected skills shortages. 

“The Duck River Meadows project is a great example of local industry and community working together to develop a proposal to improve training opportunities, boost innovation and provide an engaging tourism experience that builds on this district’s strengths,” Ms Keay says. 

The robotic dairy will be used as a training opportunity and a research tool for improving farm management. Meanwhile, Circular Head Heritage Centre will relocate to the new history, heritage and information hub allowing visitors to take part in interactive experiences and learn more about the region’s agricultural past. 

“Duck River Meadows will see industry and TAFE work closely to ensure students are gaining the skills needed on farms,” Ms Keay says. 

“The workforce development plan and courses will address the real concern that available training options don’t meet the skills needs of industry.” 

Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam says the project is part of a plan to grow the region’s population to 10,000 in the coming years. 

“Ninety-five per cent of people are living in cities when most of the wealth of our nation is actually out in the regional areas,” Mayor Quilliam says. 

“We have to get people back out into regional areas to be able to produce the food for not only Australia but for the world.” 

Harnessing the skills gained from a robotic dairy operation is a step in the right direction to achieving this, says Mayor Quilliam. 

Federal Member for Braddon Justine Keay committed $6 million to support the Duck River Meadows project at Agritas Trade College on Monday, alongside Circular Head Mayor Daryl Quilliam. Picture: Ashleigh Force.