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Research highlights value of Coffs Harbour Education Campus


Brigid Veale
28 June 2005
The Coffs Harbour Education Campus is worth $78 million a year to the Coffs Coast region, a Southern Cross University economic impact study has found.

The study was undertaken by Southern Cross University's Centre for Economic Development and Research, using REMPLAN, an input-output computer-based economic modelling tool.

Associate Professor Don Fuller said the model could be used to measure the economic benefits of key events and industries in the Coffs Coast region, including the Coffs Harbour, Bellingen and Nambucca local government areas.

"We have used the Coffs Harbour Education Campus, including Southern Cross University, North Coast Institute of TAFE and Coffs Harbour Senior College, as an example of how this model can be used," Professor Fuller said.

Professor Fuller said the impact of CHEC on the regional economy was determined by using the number of employees as an input to the model.

"The model is then able to estimate the impact on output, employment, household income and value-added within the Coffs Coast region."

The model found that the annual output which could be attributed to the Coffs Harbour Education Campus was $78 million, including $36 million annual household income. It also found 835 jobs could be attributed to the campus.

Coffs Harbour Education Campus executive director Mr Warren Grimshaw said the study demonstrated the importance of the campus to the region.

"This provides clear evidence of the important role that all three sectors, North Coast Institute of TAFE, Southern Cross University and the Coffs Harbour Senior College, play throughout this region," Mr Grimshaw said.

"Not only does the campus provide vital opportunities for school and tertiary education, it also contributes to the region's economic prosperity.

"Southern Cross University is to be congratulated for this model which will help to identify ways to add diversity and improve the economic future of the Coffs Coast."

Professor Fuller said the REMPLAN model, which was being further developed by Southern Cross University and La Trobe University, was now being applied to the tourism industry and other areas of the economy.

"We want to be able to identify ways of diversifying the Coffs economy and provide more opportunities for skilled young people. We want to look at what sectors we can target that will provide increased value for the region."