Our 'big fat nothing': Perrett's take on state budget
MONEY, money everywhere, but barely a cent for Gympie electorate.
That was the response from Gympie MP Tony Perrett, who also attacked the State Government over its "mean-spirited” refusal to even rent out the disused part of its TAFE college in Cartwright Rd.
Mr Perrett has been agitating for more than two years on behalf of a University of the Sunshine Coast proposal to rent the disused TAFE wing to allow the expansion of its Gympie university campus.
He clashed in parliament with Training and Skills Minister Yvette D'Ath, who accused Mr Perrett's LNP colleagues of shutting down TAFE campuses across Queensland.
"We have been engaged in a process to assess (TAFE assets) and look at long-term planning, including our Gympie campus,” Ms D'Ath said.
She said the government would not be parting with the asset or the jobs of TAFE teachers.
"It's just frustrating,” Mr Perrett said yesterday. "There's no new spending in the budget for Gympie and the TAFE proposal would not even have cost them any money.
"And it would not have required them to lose the asset, only lease it.”
He said Gympie's share of the budget seemed to be entirely "rebadging, reannouncements and recycling of previous commitments”.
"Gympie electorate has not received one new funding project in the state Labor budget,” he said.
An exception within the Gympie Times readership area is a new fire station for Kilkivan (not part of the Gympie electorate) and $279,300 for a Curra Community Hall (not yet part of Gympie electorate, although it will be under the upcoming electoral redistribution).
Mr Perrett said the big $6.1 million plan for Gympie Special School was welcome but "a continuation of last year's commitment''.
"The $40 million for the Bruce Hwy is not new and is 80% federal funded.
"The Curra Community Hall was part of last year's local government program. There is virtually no support for small (Gympie) businesses.”