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12 October 2012
Deakin Vice Chancellor, Professor Jane den Hollander, has welcomed today's announcement securing the future of Avalon as Victoria's second international passenger airport.
Professor den Hollander said that an international airport servicing the Geelong region was important to Deakin as a university seeking to attract international students to the region and undertaking research that would attract major industry to the region.
“Higher education is one of Victoria's top export industries and a local international airport that uses the services of a known budget airline would secure very significant business to service not only Deakin University but other Victorian university students' entry and access,” she said.
“The cost of our dollar means that Australia is sometimes perceived as a relatively expensive destination for international students and we need to find ways to offset that disadvantage. An efficient international budget airline servicing Geelong would go a long way to addressing this,” she said.
Deakin University is currently building a $104 million future fibres research and innovation centre at its Geelong Technology Precinct.
A joint venture between Deakin, CSIRO and the Victorian Centre for Advanced Materials Manufacturing, the Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre (AFFRIC) will expand the capacity for research on all aspects of fibre manufacturing, including carbon fibre development.
“It is absolutely vital for the Geelong region and Australia that we adapt to the challenges of the future and invest in growth industries and new and relevant manufacturing processes,” Professor den Hollander said.
“An international airport servicing our carbon fibre research activity will help to attract international investment to commercialise the significant work that we are doing with future fibres,” she said.
“That will be critical to the economic transformation of the Geelong region and, more broadly, will be good for the Victorian economy,” she said.
“Plans to increase international freight movements are fundamental to industry expansion and underpin the role of Avalon as one of the critical pillars supporting regional growth,” she said.
“The proximity of the airport to Geelong and an increase in its capacity and scope links well with Deakin's endeavours to expand both of its Geelong Campuses and bring new vitality to Geelong as a developing 'University City'.”
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