Narrandera Argus
Charles Sturt University wins backing from McGirr as it struggles financially

Member for Wagga Wagga Dr Joe McGirr has acknowledged the enormous importance of Charles Sturt  University to the Wagga Wagga and regional community. 
Dr McGirr, along with Mayor of Wagga Wagga, Councillor Greg Conkey, recently sought a meeting with Charles                 Sturt University Chancellor, Dr Michele Allan, and Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Germov to discuss              proposed cuts to courses and staffing and the future of the Wagga Wagga Campus. 
During that meeting, Dr McGirr and Councillor Conkey emphasised the critical role the University plays in the                 region, including the creative arts degrees and the AgriPark and agricultural research sector, which have long been recognised as integral to the University’s commitment to support Australia’s agricultural sector. 
Charles Sturt affirmed its commitment to agricultural education and research, and its continuing support of the                Playhouse, and to work with the Council to increase its availability for community events. 
A decision was made, as a result of that meeting, to also form a regional working group with local state and                     federal government representatives as well as the community that will work to develop new opportunities for the                 Wagga Wagga campus that will benefit not only Charles Sturt University, but also the wider region. 
“We emphasised the importance of the Wagga Wagga campus and I believe this was acknowledged by the                 Chancellor. There was, I believe, a genuine commitment to working with all levels of government and the                 community,” Dr McGirr said. 
“Like Charles Sturt University, I particularly understand the vital role agriculture plays, not only in the Wagga                 Wagga electorate, but to our whole nation. 
“I am also hopeful that the University’s long-standing traditions of creative arts, which have deep links to the                  Wagga Wagga community, can continue.” 
Dr McGirr said there was no doubt the COVD-19 pandemic had had an enormous effect on the University. 
“I understand the need for the university to be financially viable and the current challenges it faces with the                   pandemic. The University is taking action to address these sector-wide challenges to make sure it continues to                 deliver for our community, including to teach creative arts skills in Wagga Wagga despite the changes the                 university needs to make. 
However, it is critical that reductions and changes do not undermine the core strengths of the university,                  particularly its links to the regional community of Wagga Wagga,” he said 
“I am looking forward to continuing work with Charles Sturt University to ensure the future for this vital institution                   continues to grow,” he said. 

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