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Plains Producer, Wednesday February 20, 2013
Room for new 'ag' school
Enrolments increase at Roseworthy campus
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A MAJOR report documenting
the achievements of the Wakefeld
Group will be launched at a special
Regional Economic Forum held at
The Wakefeld Group is a partner-
ship between the Councils within
the Federal electorate of Wakefeld,
including Wakefeld Regional, Clare
and Gilbert Valleys, District Council
of Mallala, Gawler and Barossa Valley
and northern metropolitan councils.
The report, entitledWakefeld Now,
describes key achievements over the
past nine years of its operation.
In launching Wakefield Now,
Wakefeld Group chairman, Playford
Council mayor, Glenn Docherty,
described it “as a roadmap for the
future containing a prospectus of
“We see our region as a dynamic
contributor to this State and Australia
and we are prepared to compete for
attention on the national stage to get
that point across,” Mr Docherty said.
“To this end, the Wakefeld Now
report is a major initiative for that goal
and the launch of the report today is
an important step in setting the agenda
with the Commonwealth government,
up to and including the election, with a
continuing collaborative arrangement
in the years ahead.
“Launching “Wakefield Now”
provides the initial expression of our
agenda and we will follow this up
in the next few months with other
launches that will concern initiatives
involving transportation, water and
irrigation, investment attraction, clean
technology, employment and training
and community building through
Much of the group’s work has been
involved with seeking infrastructure
and special projects funding from
Commonwealth programs in order
to provide beneft to the Wakefeld
The Wakefeld Group has been a
major contributor to infrastructure
projects associated with major road-
works, urban redevelopment and in-
dustry development and more recently
a signifcant sustainable water project
with a $10.7 million funding injection
from the Commonwealth.
Wakefeld Now also puts the case
for a smart future describing the dy-
namics of industry clusters and why
Wakefeld plays such an important
role as one of the engine rooms of the
South Australian economy.
Other presentations will be made
by Senator Don Farrell, Federal Mem-
ber for Wakefeld, Nick Champion,
Mr Docherty, Mr Rodin Genoff and
Wakefeld Group executive offcer,
The invitation-only forum will be
held at Balaklava Sports Club this
n Workshop: Wakefeld Re-
gional Council will host its own “open
invitation" workshop and forum from
1pm today at the Sports Club, where
business and community leaders will
meet to help establish an economic
development “blueprint” for the area.
GETTING to know their equine friend, Cupcake, at Roseworthy are (from left) Rachel Faull, Phil
Hynd, Emma Greenwood, Patricia Condous with Cupcake. -- PICTURE: Lisa Redpath.
STUDENT enrolments in agriculture
studies at Adelaide University’s Rose-
worthy Campus have kicked signifcantly
in line with a national trend.
Roseworthy campus School of Ani-
mal andVeterinary Sciences deputy head,
Professor Phil Hynd, said the infux of
students was remarkable.
“Probably for about 10 to 15 years,
there has been a complete failure of stu-
dents enrolling in agriculture at university
level,” Prof Hynd said.
“The bottom line is, there has been
a mismatch between the number of
students enrolled in agriculture and the
number of jobs there are.
“We’ve been banging on that drum for
a long time, so have many others. The
shortage of agriculturally trained people
has been absolutely true for a long time.”
Prof Hynd said the university had
been plugging important and interesting
careers in agriculture over an extended
period, claiming up to fve available job
vacancies for every graduate.
That number is closer to six now,
although it may reduce on the back of a
50 per cent increase in students enroll-
ing in Adelaide University Agricultural
Science degree this year.
“That’s happened right across Aus-
tralia,” Prof Hynd noted.
“I think the messages in the past
couple of years have been about climate
change, food security, water effciencies,
“It is all starting to get through to
students that agriculture isn’t just about
gum boots and milking cows, it’s about
feeding people and looking after the
environment. The penny seems to have
The student increase is more than
welcome but maintaining strong enrol-
ment numbers remains the challenge in
years to come.
“We’ve already made some changes
to our program,” Prof Hynd said. “We’ve
implemented an animal science degree
which has been incredibly successful.
“It has attracted in students who come
in thinking they want to cuddle koalas but
at the end of the course, end up working
in pig production or the dairy industry,
“Students in that program are double
the numbers in agriculture, so animal
sciences has looked after agriculture.
“They’re largely urban-raised fe-
males, who are pretty smart, who were
never going into agriculture but kind of
came in through the back door.”
Providing a relatively seamless tran-
sition from school to university is also
on the agenda, Prof Hynd supportive of
the concept of a specialist school being
built at Two Wells, as identifed by RDA
Barossa recently (see separate story).
“The idea of a senior secondary
college, specialising in agriculture and
science, would be fantastic for this area
north of Adelaide,” Prof Hynd said.
A NEW high school specialis-
ing in agriculture and horticulture
education at Two Wells would have
little impact on nearby secondary
schools, including Balaklava and
Gawler, according to Regional
Development Australia Barossa.
RDA Barossa chief executive
officer, Anne Moroney, said a
population boost at Two Wells, on
the back of a planned residential
development, would cater for stu-
dent numbers from new residents.
“With a proposed increase in
population of Two Wells of up to
10,000 people, the facility would
be in future demand and should not
have a negative impact on existing
schools in those localities,” Ms Mo-
roney said. She believed it opened
new avenues of co-operation
between Gawler, Balaklava and
the proposed Two Wells schools.
“There is an opportunity for
collaboration to ensure the three
centres offer complementary, not
competing, specialisation,” Ms
The high school concept at Two
Wells arose from RDA Barossa
in its environmental scan of the
region, after consulting the lo-
cal community in the lead up to
publishing its Regional Roadmap.
Ms Moroney suggested while
the State government was severely
cash strapped and desperately seek-
ing Budget cuts, the opportunity
to build a new school still existed
through other fnancial sources.
There are associated benefts
with the Two Wells location, given
it is in relatively close proximity to
Adelaide University’s Agriculture
and Animal Science campus at
Roseworthy, Regency TAFE and
other tertiary education facilities.
While it is impractical to put
a projected timeline for a new
school in the town, Ms Moroney
said if some pivotal milestones
were achieved in coming years, the
possibility of a high school at Two
Wells became more likely.
“The trigger will probably be the
fnal planning approvals for the new
(housing) development,” she said.
Major regional report
launched in Balaklava
More try 'life
on the farm'
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