Tasmania plans first shearing and wool handling innovation centre

Sheep Central, June 3, 2024

Tasmania is boosting its shearer training.

WORK will hopefully start this year on Tasmania’s first dedicated shearing and wool handling innovation centre at Campbell Town in the state’s main wool-growing area.

Minister for Primary Industries and Water, Jane Howlett, last week said the $1.5m ‘Wool School’ is part of the Tasmanian Government’s 2030 Strong Plan for Tasmania’s Future, to help deliver a stronger economy and jobs for Tasmanians.

“Agriculture is a pillar of the Tasmanian economy, but like many sectors has found it difficult to attract skilled workers, with critical skills shortages being experienced in the wool industry,” she said.

“Currently there are limited opportunities for education and training within the wool industry that do not require students and teachers to travel interstate.

“That’s why the Tasmanian Government will provide $1.5 million for the Midland Agricultural Association to establish a shearing and wool handling innovation centre,” Ms Howlett said.

“The centre will include state-of-the-art facilities, a shearing shed and associated amenities at the Campbell Town Showgrounds.”

Up to $200,000 will be provided to industry to support training opportunities.

Midland Agricultural Association president and Wool Solutions director Rob Calvert said the training and competition facility will be designed to complement the existing shearing and wool ahndling training that is conducted on farm at the moment.

“This will complement that as a controlled environment where we can hone the skills of these people.”

Mr Calvert said it s hoped work on the centre in the Campbell Town Showgrounds will completed in time for the next Campbell Town Show in mid-2024.

He said the centre will also be good wool classer certificate sign-offs.

And if we ever have to trial some new equipment or technology then it will be neutral location and Campbell Town ios perfectly located for this, in the middle of the wqool-growing region in Tasmania.

“We have a proud history in sheep and wool at the show so it makes ense for it to be there.”

Minister Howlett said that by collaborating with organisations like the MAA the Tasmanian Government can help to build the capacity of the agricultural sector.

Minister for Skills and Training, Felix Ellis, said the wool school will expand on the training already being supported through Skills Tasmania’s Training and Work Pathways Program.

“We will invest in a centralised education, training and competition facility at Campbell Town, which will provide a jobs pathway for the Tasmanian wool industry,” he said.

“The new centre is supported by Australian Wool Innovation for large-scale delivery of training programs and will allow Tasmania to host national shearing competitions as a showcase for regional Tasmania and mechanism to attract new shearers.”

The Midland Agricultural Association will operate the Centre and will work with TasTAFE and other regional training organisations to leverage opportunities.


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  1. Bruce Lines, June 5, 2024

    Terrific news and idea for the Campbell town area and the State of Tasmania.

  2. Ross Ellis, June 4, 2024

    We need programs and training in the wool industry. Young people need to know that it is an industry that can take them around the world and they will also be well paid for it. The industry needs to also remind the general public of the advantages of our product over the oil-based industries. I can remember very proudly when the Pure New Wool symbol was more well known than the Coca Cola symbol worldwide. I had the pleasure of teaching many students the craft of wool classing and shearing as well as many growers owner classing so they could interact on a mutual basis. I hope your program is successful.

    • Bruce Lines, June 5, 2024

      Totally agree Ross as I had the privilege of your guidance many years ago in “Merinos build Communities” and I believe a lot of our political ag associates have forgotten that.

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