COURSES available to Corowa TAFE students are set to more than triple as the NSW government invests in a $3.7 million education hub.
NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian announced on Wednesday a connected learning centre would be built at the campus to boost access to tuition from other TAFE sites.
The commitment came on the first of a two-day Border visit by Ms Berejiklian.
She later inspected the Ettamogah Rail Hub and revealed the freight terminal’s plan for a longer siding was on the shortlist for government funding.
The investment at the Corowa TAFE is the biggest in recent years at the campus which housed the town’s public school from 1878 to 1972.
About 100 students attend the campus annually with 12 courses on offer compared to 55 after the centre is completed in spring next year.
“What this means for places like Corowa is that local students learn their trade, learn their skills here and not have to leave town,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“It also means that more businesses are likely to set up shop here and grow themselves, because they’ll know that they’ll be able to come to Corowa and have skilled people able to leave their courses and able to go straight into employment.”
Ms Berejiklian said it showed the government’s innovative thinking, after speculation two years ago the Corowa TAFE would shut.
The freight hub plan involves the siding at Ettamogah being extended to allow trains to be fully off the Sydney to Melbourne line instead of partially as they are currently.
More than five kilometres of siding would be built to service trains 2½ to 3-kilometre long which are expected on the planned inland rail route.
Ms Berejiklian said the extension had been shortlisted to share in $300 million of rail funding, with a final decision to be made early next year.
Hub chief operating officer Cameron Jackson said business had grown from moving 2000 containers in 2007 to 20,000 this year.
Member for Albury Greg Aplin said if the siding won funding it would boost the case for NSW contributing to expanding the Davey Road exit off the Hume Highway.