A winning smile: CSU gets Dental School go ahead

1 JANUARY 2003

Charles Sturt University welcomes the Budget announcement by the Treasurer, Peter Costello, of $65.1 million in funding for a new School of Dentistry and Oral Health at CSU.

CSU's Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Goulter in Canberra for the Budget sessionCharles Sturt University (CSU) welcomes the Budget announcement by the Treasurer, Peter Costello, of $65.1 million in funding for a new School of Dentistry and Oral Health at CSU. 
 
The new school is planned to open in 2009 with pre-clinical and clinical facilities worth $54.2 million in Orange and Wagga Wagga and Dental Education Clinics in Albury-Wodonga, Bathurst and Dubbo in New South Wales. CSU will also receive around $4 million for student accommodation and funding for 60 extra student places as part of the Federal funding package.
 
CSU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Goulter said that it was wonderful news for the people of inland NSW and a reason for them to smile.
 
“Through this decision, the Government has acknowledged that CSU has the demonstrated capacity and national academic standing to provide a real solution to Australia’s rural dental crisis.
 
“The scale of the funding also demonstrates the Government’s understanding of the challenges facing rural communities and its commitment to addressing the rural dental crisis. It is the largest capital investment in CSU by the Federal Government since the inception of the University.
 
“Like all great achievements, this initiative would not have got off the ground without the support of our inland communities,” Professor Goulter said.
 
“In particular, I must pay tribute to Mrs Marj Bollinger and Dr Catherine Errey, the co-founders of the Rural Dental Action Group (RDAG). The RDAG made rural oral health a key public issue.  Without their efforts, this issue would not have received the attention it has. CSU owes the members of the RDAG debt of gratitude, as does inland NSW.
 
“The support and advice of the Australian Dental Association (NSW), in particular its President Dr Tony Burges and Chief Executive Mr Matthew Fischer, were invaluable in ensuring the program would meet the needs of the dental profession.
 
“Our thanks must also go to the 25 mayors and local councils across inland NSW who wrote to the Prime Minister and advocated strongly on behalf of their communities for a solution to the rural dental crisis.
 
“We extend our thanks to the numerous members of the rural dental profession who offered their counsel and advice and gave generously of their time in the progress of this initiative,” Professor Goulter said.
 
“I also thank the many local members and senators who have worked so tirelessly to advance this proposal successfully, in particular Mr Kerry Bartlett, Federal Member for Macquarie (Liberal) who led a team of inland members and senators in arguing for this funding. 
 
“I would also like to thank Mr John Cobb, the Federal Member for Parkes (National); Ms Kay Hull, the Federal Member for the Riverina (National); Ms Sussan Ley, the Federal Member for Farrer (Liberal); Mr Mark Vaile, the Deputy Prime Minister (National); Mr Peter Andren, the Federal Member for Calare (Independent); Mr Alby Schultz, the Federal Member for Hume (Liberal); Federal Senator Fiona Nash (National); Federal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells (Liberal); and Federal Senator Bill Heffernan (Liberal) for their support. 

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