The release of the much-anticipated independent review by KPMG on the financial position of Charles Sturt University has been welcomed by Member for Bathurst Paul Toole.
Mr Toole said he was satisfied Charles Sturt was heading in the right direction and now getting back on track to financial stability after he questioned its operations earlier this year.
This included an ultimatum that the Bathurst campus would not be downgraded and assurances that marquee courses such as nursing, paramedics, engineering, teaching and journalism would be retained.
Mr Toole also asked for guarantees that the Vice-Chancellor’s position would continue to be based in Bathurst.
“The report by KPMG maps out the path under the University’s ‘Sustainable Futures’ program to return to a balanced budget by the end of the 2021 financial year,” Mr Toole said.
“This is another important step forward for Charles Sturt. Assurances have been given that these high-profile courses will remain in Bathurst, as will the Vice-Chancellor’s position.”
Mr Toole said alarm bells started ringing when predictions that COVID-19 could lead to a decline in revenue of $80 million for Charles Sturt with major ramifications for the running of the Bathurst campus.
“The KPMG review has now confirmed a lower forecast deficit in the current financial year and an expected balanced budget by the end of the 2021 financial year,” he said.
Mr Toole said the release of the KPMG review of Charles Sturt gives certainty to the direction it is taking to tackle the impact of the pandemic and is important in maintaining transparency.
“It confirms Charles Sturt will be here for the long term, but I’ll certainly be keeping them to account regarding assurances given to the marquee courses being retained in Bathurst, along with the Vice-Chancellor’s position and bouncing back to a sustainable financial position,” he said.