Construction underway on Mackay $7.5m CQU heavy auto training facility

Published Thursday, 09 November, 2023 at 09:53 AM

Minister for Employment and Small Business, Minister for Training and Skills Development and Minister for Youth Justice
The Honourable Di Farmer


  • The Palaszczuk Government is delivering on our election promise of $7.5 million funding to upgrade existing heavy automotive training facilities to help meet the growing demand for training in the Mackay region. 
  • Construction is now underway on a multi-million-dollar specialist training facility for heavy automotive trades at the CQUniversity Mackay Ooralea campus.
  • The slab for the $7.5 million facility which will sit adjacent to, and complement existing trade training facilities at the University, has now been poured, with site completion slated for March 2024.

A multi-million-dollar specialist training facility for heavy automotive trades at the CQUniversity Mackay Ooralea campus is expected to be operational by Term 2, 2024.

The 1,610 sqm site will include workshop space, teaching areas, staff spaces and specialist equipment including an air brake simulator, hydraulic training stations, transmission training simulators, diesel engine benches and an air suspension training stand for trucks.

The facility will also enable the University to almost triple its student capacity in the trade discipline from 140 to more than 400 students.

CQUniversity will deliver heavy automotive trade courses including Certificate III in Engineering – Mechanical Trade (Diesel Fitting), Certificate III in Mobile Plant Technology and Certificate III in Heavy Commercial Vehicle Mechanical Technology, in full within the Mackay region.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer:

“The Palaszczuk is proudly delivering on another election promise and backing jobs and growth for Mackay and the region.

“Last week the Palaszczuk Government kicked off the start of new opportunities for Rockhampton and the region with the start of construction on a $10.2 million trade training-focused TAFE Centre of Excellence at the CQUniversity North Rockhampton campus.

“Today it is CQU Mackay kickstarting new workforce opportunities. We pledged new opportunities for Queensland’s regional centres and we are delivering.

“The new facility will contribute to the regional economy and allow the public training provider, CQU, to continue changing lives and supporting communities and industry through skills-based training. 

“By boosting training capacity, the redeveloped trade training centre will supply a pipeline of qualified heavy automotive professionals, crucial to keeping the region’s industries running.” 

Quotes attributable to the Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert

“This new facility is an important addition for Mackay and its future workforce.

“Once the upgrade is completed, final year apprentices will no longer have to travel for up to four hours to Rockhampton or Emerald to complete required training blocks, saving them time and money. 

“It will provide heavy automotive trade apprentices with a purpose-built training space, plus more than $2.4 million worth of the latest industry-related tools, resources and technology and help cater for an average year-on-year student growth of 15 per cent in the heavy automotive discipline over the past five years in the Mackay region. “

Quotes attributable to Peter Heilbuth, Deputy Vice-President, VET and Business Development at CQUniversity

“The development of this facility is much needed in the region as local industry and the community rely heavily on skilled trade professionals to keep the economy and key industries running.

“The facility will deliver apprentices and trainees world-class facilities and equipment to ensure they get the most out of their training experience. This better prepares them for their future careers and the needs and expectations of industry. This will also have a positive impact on their employers as apprentices will be trained using the latest resources and technology,” he said.

“We are thankful to the Queensland Government for their support of CQUniversity and skills training in the CQ region.”

Queensland based builder WHF Group will lead the construction of the project and it is estimated that up to 50 jobs will be created during construction.

 Media contacts: 

 Gary Shipway 0458 090 906

Jocelyn Sticklen, CQUniversity | | 0418 212 763