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CQUniversity closes Biloela and Yeppoon campuses

CQUniversity has announced the latest actions in its recovery plan, to reduce the University’s cost base in light of COVID-19 financial impacts.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Nick Klomp said the University would accept 182 staff requests for voluntary separation.

Professor Klomp said the University would also close its Sunshine Coast, Yeppoon and Biloela sites this year.

“COVID-19 has caused businesses of all kinds to re-think their operations to ensure their long-term sustainability, which is exactly what we are doing,” Professor Klomp said.

“CQUniversity will emerge from COVID-19 as a stronger, more resilient university, which is why we need to take these difficult steps today.

“I want to acknowledge staff who have made the decision to depart the University on their own terms via the voluntary separation process.

“Their selflessness today will be a huge contributor to the long-term sustainability of CQUniversity, as we continue to serve our communities for decades to come.

“I also want to acknowledge the entire CQUniversity community – our staff, students, and dedicated supporters - in Noosa, Yeppoon and Biloela.

“These delivery sites simply don’t have the on-campus student numbers or future growth prospects post-COVID-19.

“We are making every effort to ensure our students on the Sunshine Coast – only 16 per cent of whom study on-campus – have the opportunity to see out their studies through local partners or new purpose-built facilities in Brisbane.

“While our on-campus activities in Yeppoon and Biloela are minimal, we have options in place for improved online delivery, and on-site training for local high school students studying VET courses.

“Importantly, we are in discussions with staff from all three sites, to ensure those not receiving a voluntary separation either have the opportunity to request one now, or can be transitioned to other working arrangements.”

Professor Klomp said the cost reduction measures announced, as well as those already realised, would recover almost $28 million annually for the University.

“This won’t cover our full projected revenue shortfall, however today’s announcement represents a significant portion of the overall costs we need to recover in the long-term.

“We are looking carefully at the national negotiations between universities and the NTEU, as this may allow us to recover even more costs through measures other than staff separation.

“However, we won’t commit to any revised enterprise agreement conditions until we have carefully analysed the details; the pay and conditions of our valued staff are just too important to rush into any decisions."