Release type: Transcript


Interview - Sky News Regional Breakfast


Senator the Hon Anthony Chisholm
Assistant Minister for Education
Assistant Minister for Regional Development

SUBJECTS: Barkly Business Hub, Regional University Study Hubs.

ASHLEA HANSEN, [HOST]: Well, Business Month celebrations in the Northern Territory will kick off today with the opening of a new Barkly Business Hub. Joining me live from Tennant Creek is Regional Development and Education Assistant Minister Anthony Chisholm. Good morning to you, Senator. Do we have you on the line there?


HANSEN: Today’s the official opening of a new business hub. Who is going to benefit from this initiative and how will it work?

CHISHOLM: It's a really exciting day here in Tennant Creek and for the Barkly region. So, this Hub will really be a one stop shop for new businesses that might want to come to the area or existing businesses that want to grow or big developments that are potentially going to happen around this area have got somewhere to come and talk to about the local workforce as well. So, it's really exciting on a number of levels and I'm particularly looking forward to later today hearing from some of the young business leaders who are interested in developing their ideas and their businesses in the area as well. So, I think there's a lot of potential benefits for the Barkly region.

HANSEN: And what are the common challenges that business owners are facing in regional and remote areas?

CHISHOLM: Certainly, workforce is a significant challenge in many parts of regional Australia and the country in general. So, I think that this Hub will be a really good place for businesses to go, talk about what their needs are, how they want to grow. But there's also then the opportunity to plug into the local workforce strategy, which is also being released today, to ensure we get that training right, we get those education opportunities right so that young people can go into the workforce with confidence and know that they're going to have a good job in the local region.

HANSEN: So, talk me through it. You walk into this Business Hub, what's inside and how does it work?

CHISHOLM: So, I’m lucky enough to have done a tour when it was under construction earlier this year. So, I’m back for the official opening today. So, there's meeting places, there's little cubicles where you can have one on one meetings, they've got facilities where they can hold bigger conferences as well. And it basically means that you can come in now with your challenge or with your idea and get advice from the Northern Territory government about the best way forward. So, I think that's really exciting, knowing that there's a one stop shop that will create economic opportunity for this region and I think that this Hub would be a really good place for people to make their start.

HANSEN: And applications are now open for new Regional University Study Hubs. How do these work?

CHISHOLM: These are really exciting. So, I've been to a number around the country of the existing 34 facilities that are up and running. As part of the Universities Accord process, we announced that there'd be 20 additional hubs in regional and remote Australia. Applications are now open and basically the idea is for communities to get together and put in an application because they want to expand the education opportunities in their town. It's really exciting because what it means is the next nurse or the next teacher that is so desperately needed in many parts of the country can come from the local community. We know that if you study in your local town, you're more likely to stay and work there. So, there's so many benefits for these regional communities that have these additional Study Hubs and it's really exciting that we're going to see another 20 additional over the next couple of years.

HANSEN: Of course. Anthony Chisholm, thanks for your time this morning.

CHISHOLM: Thank you. Good to be with you.