A WARRNAMBOOL construction company has won a contract to construct 100 new units for student accommodation at Deakin University’s Warrnambool campus.
Nicholson Construction, which has offices in Warrnambool, Ballarat and Bendigo, will carry out the work.
Member for South West Coast Denis Napthine said he looked forward to construction getting under way at the Warrnambool campus and said it was particularly pleasing a local company was successful in the tender.
Higher Education Minister Peter Hall formally launched the construction project at the university’s Waurn Ponds campus last week.
Mr Hall announced in March last year that the state government would commit $10 million as part of the Regional Infrastructure Development Fund to support the construction of accommodation at the Warrnambool and Waurn Ponds campuses.
“By investing more than $10 million in this project, the Coalition government is not only acting to address local accommodation shortages for students living away from home, but also supporting the local economy,” Mr Hall said.
“With research showing the cost of living away from home to be the single largest barrier to study or training for regional students, the provision of affordable accommodation close to universities will make it easier for more young people from rural and regional areas to undertake study.”
The $51.5 million project will see 311 studio apartments built in Waurn Ponds and 100 apartments in Warrnambool.
Local members of Parliament Andrew Katos, David O’Brien and David Koch welcomed the start of the project, which they said would create 100 new direct jobs and an estimated 180 indirect construction jobs.
“This important project will also deliver a number of positive flow-on effects for our regional communities, with research showing that around 70 per cent of students who study in regional Victoria choose to live and work in regional Victoria once they have finished studying,” Mr Katos said.
The apartments will provide accommodation for students from rural and regional areas along with students from low socio-economic backgrounds with rent capped at 20 per cent below market rates.
The federal government will contribute a further $38 million in rental subsidies over the next 10 years to ensure the rent for the units is affordable for students, and remains capped at 20 per cent below market rates.
Additional funding for the units will come from the university.