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Southern Cross University contributes $506 million across the region


Brigid Veale
18 March 2013
Southern Cross University contributes a total of $506.8 million to the Lismore, Coffs Harbour and Gold Coast and Tweed Heads economies and provides 2365 equivalent full-time jobs, according to a new report released today (March 18).

The Regional Universities Network (RUN) commissioned the report analysing the economic impact of all its member universities, including Southern Cross University.

Using input output modelling software, the analysis provides a detailed picture of the structure of the regional economies.

The report examined the impact of Southern Cross University on the Lismore, Coffs Harbour and the combined Gold Coast-Tweed Local Government Areas (LGAs).

In Lismore, the University contributes $220.8 million in gross regional product; $135.1 million in household income; and 1652 full-time equivalent jobs (FTE). This represents 13.1 per cent of household income and 10.6 per cent of FTE employment in that local government area.

In Coffs Harbour, the University contributes $36.1 million in gross regional product; $23 million in household income and 303 FTE jobs. This represents 1.2 per cent of gross regional product and 1.4 per cent of FTE employment.

In the combined local government areas of the Gold Coast and Tweed Heads, the University’s contribution is $59.2 million in gross regional product; $32.6 million in household income; and 410 FTE jobs.

The reports also looked at the University’s contribution in providing workers with tertiary qualifications in the region.

Between the Census periods of 2006 and 2011, the proportion of the population aged over 15 years with a university qualification increased in each of Southern Cross University’s regions.

In Lismore, this rose from 16.8 per cent to 18.6 per cent and in Coffs Harbour it grew from 13.1 per cent to 15.6 per cent. In the combined Gold Coast-Tweed region, it grew from 14.3 per cent to 17.2 per cent. This increase of 2.9 per cent was the largest across all the RUN regions.

Southern Cross University Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee said it was pleasing to see the impact the University had in raising education levels across the region.

“Our goal is to provide high quality education for students in our region and beyond, and we have invested heavily in our campuses to ensure we can continue to create new opportunities,” Professor Lee said.

“It is great to see this paying off. We also know from this report that more than 66 per cent of our Bachelor level graduates are employed in regional locations, providing further benefits for these communities.”

Professor Lee said it was crucial that government understood the importance of regional universities to their own communities and the nation as a whole.

The report found the total value of regional universities within RUN was $3 billion ($2.1 billion in gross domestic product; $1.2 billion in household income) and they provided more than 14,000 (FTE) jobs.

The six member universities of RUN are: CQUniversity, Southern Cross University, University of Ballarat, University of New England, University of Southern Queensland, and University of the Sunshine Coast.

The report is available at:

The Regional Universities Network summary report is available at:

Photo: Professor Peter Lee.