CURTIN University’s move to sell a portion of the Muresk farm, known by some as the beef-block, could be the final nail in the coffin of the college as a tertiary facility according to Muresk Old Collegians Association (MOCA) president Floyd Sullivan.
Mr Sullivan said having a workable and practical farm was part of the Muresk package and made it stand out from other tertiary educators in WA.
He was calling on the State Government and industry to support MOCA’s bid to keep the farm whole.
“We are hoping there is money in Royalties for Regions that can ensure the Government can buy that parcel of land,” he said.
“Without it Muresk would not have a viable farm.”
Mr Sullivan was hoping the Government would have some foresight for the future of agricultural education in WA, and for the agricultural industry as a whole.
“In the 1920s the government of the day had enough presence to buy the facilities and know agriculture was going to play a big role in the State’s economy,” Mr Sullivan said.
“Now with food security a talking point and Asia on our doorstep I wish the current government would have the same idea.”
But whether it be through a private entity or government owned, Mr Sullivan remained confident that one day Muresk would be again a centre for agricultural excellence.
He said the facilities belonged to the people of WA and should be used for the benefit of the State.
“MOCA hopes tertiary agricultural education will again be offered at the Muresk campus,” Mr Sullivan said.
“We want it to be run by a respected and well known tertiary provider – whether it be private or public owned.
“But either way MOCA will have to build the Muresk reputation up from scratch.
“The Muresk brand has been tainted by the inaction of the current government and the actions of Curtin.”
A Curtin University spokesperson said the Muresk campus was transferred to the State Government on June 30, 2012.
“An agreement had been made 18 months prior to transfer to offer first right of refusal for the freehold farm back to the State Government,” the spokesperson said.
“As the university is no longer operating at Muresk, the land is not needed.
“The State Government, as the new operators of the Muresk facility, will have first right of refusal on the land, which is approximately 600 hectares.
“It is assumed the Government will, in making that decision, consider the current usage and long-term viability of the facility.”
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