The Queensland Government has announced the start of construction on a new heavy automotive trade specialist training facility at the CQUniversity Mackay Ooralea Campus in Mackay, Queensland, Australia.

Construction company WHF Group has been commissioned for the construction of this project, which is expected to create up to 50 jobs.

The Palaszczuk (Queensland) Government has committed to fund $7.5m for the specialist training facility, which will help meet the increased demand for heavy vehicle training in the region.

This training centre is scheduled to open in the second academic term of next year.

The 1,610m² complex will consist of a workshop, teaching rooms, and staff areas, as well as specialised equipment such as a transmission training simulator, hydraulic training stations, air brake simulator, diesel engine benches, and a truck air suspension training stand.

In addition, the facility will allow the university to nearly triple its trade discipline student intake from 140 to more than 400 students.

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CQUniversity will offer heavy vehicle trade courses at the site, including Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Diesel Fitting), Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology, and Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology.

Mackay Member of Parliament Julieanne Gilbert said: “Once the upgrade is completed, final-year apprentices will no longer have to travel for up to four hours to Rockhampton or Emerald to complete required training blocks, saving them time and money.

“It will provide heavy automotive trade apprentices with a purpose-built training space, plus more than $2.4m worth of the latest industry-related tools, resources and technology and help cater for an average year-on-year student growth of 15% in the heavy automotive discipline over the past five years in the Mackay region.”