Ruby Leeds, Veronica Anderson, Julia Kaddatz, Savarnah Anderson, Tanisha Gallaway and Giordan Scott, Yr 12 boarders from the Emerald Agricultural College.
Ruby Leeds, Veronica Anderson, Julia Kaddatz, Savarnah Anderson, Tanisha Gallaway and Giordan Scott, Yr 12 boarders from the Emerald Agricultural College. Jann Houley

Gympie parent demands minister stand down over closure stink

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

THE future of Queensland agriculture has just been hoodwinked again by the Labor Party Agricultural Minister Mark Furner MP.

We were told by Mr Furner in December 2018 that the colleges were unviable to continue and were to be effectively shut down in the next 12 months.

CLICK HERE: Gympie farmers lament ag college closures - worry about industry's future

brian kaddatz and friends
Brian Kaddatz and friend "back in the day” when Brian attended ag college in Queensland. contributed

Now we find out that the man in charge of this influential and damming report, Professor Peter Coaldrake, is a true Labor party man and just before he handed in his report he allegedly donated $1760 to the Labor Party!

Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar, Cotton Growers Association representative Aaron Keily, Shadow Agricultural Minister Tony Perrett and Ian Burnett from AgForce at the Emerald Agricultural College.
Member for Gregory Lachlan Millar, Cotton Growers Association representative Aaron Keily, Shadow Agricultural Minister Tony Perrett and Ian Burnett from AgForce at the Emerald Agricultural College. Kristen Booth

This smells of rotten eggs so badly you cannot run from it Minister Furner.

Brian Kaddatz and daughter
Brian Kaddatz and his daughter, who now attends ag college. contributed

I also learned at the start of this year the students found out that they could not grow major crops at the college as some bureaucrat in Brisbane sold the water allocation for the Emerald campus to a third party, leaving only enough water for the students to grow a small pasture crop and water stock.

Brian Kaddatz headshot

Photo Renee Pilcher / The Gympie Times
Brian Kaddatz Renee Pilcher

I also recently visited the Emerald campus and was totally shocked at how badly the facilities had slipped.

In my opinion the 2018-19 students have been severely disadvantaged in their education by the strategy the State Government has taken.

YEAR FOR SUCCESS: Cloe Gribble awarded a scholarship to study at Emerald Agriculture College.
Cloe Gribble won a scholarship to study at Emerald Agriculture College. Cloe Gribble

I know this being a former student attending the Emerald college and the quality of education these facilities were once capable of.

I believe the Minister Mark Furner should be stood down, with a thorough investigation to be done by the CCC on the actions of the minister, his department and Professor Coaldrake's report in relation to the QATC closures.

Minister for Agriculture Mark Furner.
Minister for Agriculture Mark Furner. Leighton Smith

The immediate halt to the shutting down of these colleges should be implemented, where a positive new outlook on the education of agriculture for the future of Queensland is taken.

BRIAN KADDATZ,

WOOLOOGA