Deputy Premier leaves Per­rett steamed on USC

The Gympie Times - - NEWS GOOD MORNING GYMPIE -

GYMPIE MP Tony Per­rett has claimed Deputy Premier Jackie Trad over­stated the State Gov­ern­ment’s level of sup­port for USC to gain ac­cess to an empty and un­used TAFE build­ing.

Mr Per­rett, said the Min­is­ter gave the false im­pres­sion to the Gympie elec­torate that all the USC had to do was make an ap­pli­ca­tion.

USC is try­ing to se­cure a lease of an empty TAFE build­ing which sits a few me­tres across the carpark from its Gympie cam­pus so it can in­crease en­rol­ments and of­fer more cour­ses.

“The Min­is­ter said that the gov­ern­ment was open to hear­ing from the univer­sity and that they should bring a pro­posal and an ap­pli­ca­tion (as) ‘we’d love to see it’. The USC has been sub­mit­ting and re­sub­mit­ting pro­pos­als and ap­pli­ca­tions for the past three years.

“A pro­posal in 2014 was ready for sign­ing be­fore the change of gov­ern­ment.

“More than two years ago the USC did ev­ery­thing that the La­bor Gov­ern­ment asked for and it was re­sub­mit­ted again in 2015, 2016 and this year.

“Then the Min­is­ter said the gov­ern­ment was ‘fo­cused on en­sur­ing pub­lic as­sets would be used for pub­lic ben­e­fit’ to be used for ‘con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion pur­poses’.

“What could be a greater pub­lic ben­e­fit than giv­ing peo­ple a chance to up­skill to im­prove their chances of gain­ing long term em­ploy­ment?

“What could be a greater pub­lic ben­e­fit than the univer­sity in­creas­ing the num­ber of cour­ses it can of­fer, in­crease en­rol­ments, and at the same time pay­ing the Queens­land tax­pay­ers for a lease and up­grad­ing the build­ing?

“And un­der what def­i­ni­tion could you ar­gue that a univer­sity doesn’t al­ready pro­vide a ‘con­tin­u­ing ed­u­ca­tion pur­pose’. Then the Deputy Premier said that she ‘knew’ the Min­is­ter for Train­ing (Yvette D’Ath) ‘is very open to sug­ges­tions about us­ing it for an­other ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­ity’.

“That an­swer is a whole pile of rot.

“The univer­sity is al­ready an­other ed­u­ca­tion fa­cil­ity and the Min­is­ter has con­tin­u­ously, de­lib­er­ately and will­fully re­fused to grant that lease.

“Two years ago TAFE said it doesn’t want the build­ing and it closed down the Gympie nurs­ing stud­ies course with a week’s no­tice in 2015.

“The gov­ern­ment has never been in­ter­ested in help­ing USC se­cure that lease be­cause if they did they would have done some­thing about it more than 2 years ago.” Ms Trad’s of­fice was reached for com­ment but had not replied by time of print.

PHOTO: PA­TRICK WOODS

SPINNING IN PLACE: Gympie MP Tony Per­rett has ques­tioned the Deputy Premier’s re­sponse over USC’s re­quest to use an empty TAFE build­ing.

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