Gympie MP Tony Perrett
Gympie MP Tony Perrett Philippe Coquerand

Fentiman pledges $100k to refurb Gympie uni campus building

THE Gympie campus of the University of the Sunshine Coast should not be put in any position where it misses out on funding available to other campuses, Gympie MP Tony Perrett said yesterday.

Mr Perrett was responding to the announcement that USC had secured $30.2 million of a $134.8 million regional universities funding package from the Federal Government.

He said State Government stalling on releasing a building to USC at the Gympie campus had impacted enrolments here.

Negotiations for the building are in their final stages and the draft lease is now with the USC for final approval.

Training and Skills Development Minister Shannon Fentiman said yesterday the lease would be finalised soon and pledged $100,000 to help get the space ready for local students.

"The Palaszczuk government will commit $100,000 towards refurbing teaching space for USC students, matching the support of the local council and Mayor Curran who committed $100,000 in August.

"The comments made by Tony Perrett are misleading, he knows full well that USC, Gympie Regional Council and the State Government have been working hard in the best interest of the Gympie community. 

"We will ensure that students enrolled next semester will be accommodated at the Gympie TAFE campus. 

"We want to ensure value for money for taxpayers and a good outcome for the community and that's exactly what we are working on.” 

Mr Perrett said the fact that that (money) will be used for student places at (Fraser Coast and Caboolture) highlighted the effect stalling on the lease had had on enrolments at the Gympie campus.

"The USC has not been able to substantially grow student numbers at our local campus or increase courses on offer because it cannot gain access to an unwanted and unused TAFE building.

"TAFE doesn't even want the building which sits across the carpark from the USC.

"The Federal funding announcement proves that the lack of a lease is impacting numbers at Gympie campus. The inability to expand is clearly having a detrimental effect. This is just not good enough.

"Whenever funding is available from the Federal Government we don't want to miss out.

"Should a lease be signed I am looking forward to seeing Federal and State Government support for our local campus and students.”