Miles Doing What Matters: Big Build of Thursday Island TAFE Health Hub Kicks Off

Published Thursday, 04 July, 2024 at 10:50 AM

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development
The Honourable Lance McCallum

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui and Minister Lance McCallum at the future Thursday Island TAFE Health Hub
Member for Cook Cynthia Lui and Minister Lance McCallum at the future Thursday Island TAFE Health Hub

The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

Commonwealth Minister for Skills and Training

The Hon Shannon Fentiman MP

Queensland Minister for Health

The Hon Lance McCallum MP

Queensland Minister for Training and Skills Development

Cynthia Lui MP

State Member for Cook


  • Construction has commenced on a $3.5 million upgrade of TAFE Queensland’s Thursday Island campus to provide a state-of-art health training space.
  • The facility will offer training in healthcare, aged care, individual support, and nursing training delivery, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Primary Health Care and Support Services.
  • Once completed the upgraded Health Hub will support more than 350 students by 2026-27, building a strong health workforce for Queensland.

Hundreds of Torres Strait Islanders will soon get access to more Free TAFE locally thanks to the new Miles Labor Government officially starting construction of TAFE Queensland’s Health Hub on Thursday Island.

Courses on offer at the Health Hub will include the Diploma of Nursing, one of the most popular Free TAFE courses available across Queensland, boosting the state’s workforce in priority industries like health care.

The upgraded facility will simulate hospital facilities, with an operational 3-5 bed flexible clinical ward with connected training bathrooms, a flexible medication room, and general learning area for classroom learning.

Scheduled for completion mid-2025, the upgrade is funded under the latest State Budget through the TAFE Technology Fund initiative with $3.5 million in joint Albanese and Miles Labor Government funding.

The tender for construction was awarded to 100% Indigenous owned company H.C Building & Construction with offices in Cairns, Pormpuraaw, and Seisia with previous experience constructing government, commercial, and housing projects.

The Albanese Government’s $50 million TAFE Technology Fund is upgrading and expanding TAFE facilities across the country, including laboratories, workshops, equipment, and simulated learning environments.

Quotes attributable to the Member for Cook and Torres Strait Islander Cynthia Lui:

“This is fantastic news for our region today with a brand-new Health Hub on the way right here in the Torres Strait that is going to support industry and it’s going to support long-term sustainable jobs in the region.

“Health is one of our huge economic drivers in the region and this new training facility will enable more people in our region in get the skills they need, especially with issues around the ageing workforce.

“This is going to address unemployment by providing employment opportunities for the future and give locals opportunities to get a foot in the door to gain qualifications that enable them to walk into jobs.

“It'll also support building community capacity, something that I'm very passionate about in the regions up here in the Torres Strait.

“I'm also very excited that the construction phase will also have local people involved in the construction of this facility with a number of construction workers that will benefit from this Miles Government investment into the region.

“This will not only support the community long term in terms of unemployment but also in the construction phase of supporting local people in the building industry.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor:

“This magnificent facility will help deliver high quality training for Torres Strait Islanders acquiring skills in some of the most important areas like aged and health care including nursing and support services.

“This vital investment by the Albanese and Miles Labor Governments will mean that our most remote students can access high quality vocational education and training.

“The Albanese Government’s $50 million TAFE Technology Fund is ensuring TAFEs across the country are equipped to deliver training to the standards expected by students and industry.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Health Shannon Fentiman MP:

“This is a fantastic project for Thursday Island, not only will this upgrade provide additional capacity for training, but it will also help attract more locals to take part in our Free TAFE courses and build our healthcare workforce.

“Providing lifelike training facilities will be a gamechanger for students, allowing them to gain valuable skills to assist them to find a job.

"The Miles Government is committed to breaking down the barriers for our remote communities, and this upgrade will limit the need for locals to travel away from home to gain the skills they need to join the workforce.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Training and Skills Development Lance McCallum MP:

“There's no clearer difference between Labor and the LNP than when it comes to something like TAFE–the last time the LNP were in government they absolutely gutted TAFE, sacking over 2,100 TAFE workers and they closed and sold off campuses with plans to do that to over 30 of them.

“What LNP cuts to TAFE means is wrecking the future of Queensland workers, because they took away skills and training opportunities and there’s a very real risk that they will do it all over again.

“Only Labor will back strong vocational education and training–including with a strong public provider at the heart of it–which is why we're investing $2.8 million into TAFE Queensland on Thursday Island, and more right across Queensland.”

Quotes attributable to Heath Christison – Managing Director, H.C Building & Construction:

"We are proud to be a part of a critical education infrastructure project on Thursday Island, and for the people of the Torres Strait

"As a 100% owned indigenous business we are able to provide employment opportunities to the local community and continue delivering important construction projects in the region.

"It is exciting to offer commercial construction exposure to new participants in the region which will improve the skills shortage we are currently facing as an industry.

“We will deliver the project on time and on budget.”

Further information:

Since 2017, the Queensland Government has invested almost $300 million in building new, upgrading and maintaining existing training facilities across the state, including $25.9 million invested in the Far North Queensland region.  

For more information, go to:

To learn more about the Good Jobs, Great Training: Queensland Skills Strategy 2024 – 2028 Strategy, visit:


Media contact – Andrew Churchill 0472 645 871