Gulf cattleman slams closure

Barry Hughes, past LPC student, responds to ag college closures


Barry Hughes and Scott Fraser going back to school, at the 2017 Longreach Pastoral College industry forum held as part of the golden anniversary celebrations. Picture - Sally Cripps.

Barry Hughes and Scott Fraser going back to school, at the 2017 Longreach Pastoral College industry forum held as part of the golden anniversary celebrations. Picture - Sally Cripps.

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In the mid-1970s the Longreach Pastoral College put a fire in Barry Hughes' belly to be part of the rural scene, which hasn't diminished since.

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Opinion

It is totally despicable that the Palaszczuk Labor government has seen fit to close the Longreach and Emerald Pastoral Colleges.

At a time when the rural and regional areas of Queensland are under severe duress on so many levels, we have a government that is prepared to walk away from educational pathways that have served the agricultural industry of this country so effectively since their inception.

I recognise that things could be better in terms of enrolments and participation rates but as in any primary industry sector when the going gets tough you don’t roll your swag and go home, you find ways to overcome the adverse situation.

I attended an industry forum at the Longreach Pastoral College reunion late last year where over 800 past students attended, and spoke about what LPC had given me, and that I still feel it is as important today as it was back then.

Read more: Golden anniversary for LPC

DISCIPLINE, DIRECTION, DESTINATION. These three ”D” words have set so many young people on their chosen career path in agriculture and at the same time gave them the ability to give so much back.

The teachings of these colleges have played an integral role in shaping and consolidating the changes we have seen take place within the agricultural sector, particularly the northern Australian beef industry.

To have this very important educational option removed from choices young people may consider is so short sighted and ill conceived and highlights the ever-increasing disconnect between this Labor government and rural and regional Queensland.

My question to the Trad/Palaszczuk government is: What is your government going to do to fill this void you are creating, and how do you respond to young men and women who have their hearts set on a career in the pastoral and agricultural sectors across the vast northern Australian landscape?

 – Barry Hughes, president, Gulf Cattleman’s Association Inc, past student 1975-76

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