The Cooma Universities Centre is an initiative of Snowy Hydro Limited and the Cooma Monaro Shire Council who worked together to establish the facility in Cooma, to provide University education opportunities for local students.
Snowy Hydro provided the initial funds to undertake significant refurbishment of the building including construction, fitout and the installation of all information technology requirements such as videoconferencing, PCs, printers and the link to the AARNET Communications Network. This contribution totals almost $500,000 . Snowy Hydro also contributes to the operating costs of the centre.
The Cooma Monaro Shire Council has also supported the establishment of the Cooma Universities Centre through providing the building free of rent and rate expenses.
Snowy Hydro Limited has been long involved in the establishment of tertiary education opportunities for the region. For Snowy Hydro to be successful we need our local communities to be successful. We are having difficulty in attracting potential employees to Snowy Hydro because of perceived lack of services including tertiary education opportunities. This centre will assist our business in recruiting and retaining highly skilled staff and have a significant and positive impact on the local community. It will allow students to study locally with their peer group should they wish to do so avoiding the need to move away from friends, family and their local community.
The Cooma Monaro Shire Council has provided the building at a $1 per year rent, thus forgoing up to $50,000 per year in rental income, and have agreed to donate the value of the annual Council Rates. Offset against this loss of revenue has been the avoidance for Council of the major cost of necessary renovations, and long-term operating, maintenance and refurbishment costs of the building.