Tony Perrett has accused the State Government of “recklessly” refusing to help Gympie region students attend university in Gympie.
Tony Perrett has accused the State Government of “recklessly” refusing to help Gympie region students attend university in Gympie.

Perrett fires salvo at state on behalf of Gympie students

GYMPIE MP Tony Perrett yesterday accused the State Government of "recklessly" refusing to help local students attend university in Gympie".

Mr Perrett said the Government had snubbed calls to allow the University of the Sunshine Coast to increase its campus presence and offer both more courses and increased spaces for enrolment.

"The University has just made a major announcement yesterday that it will be opening a campus in Petrie on the outskirts of Brisbane, and has recently invested in the Fraser Coast and Noosa," he said.

"The only thing holding it back in Gympie is the Labor Government and the mindset of the Minister for Training and Skills, Yvette D'Ath.

"The University wants to use an empty and unused TAFE building at the Education Precinct so that it can provide more courses and spaces for next year."

"Instead the Government prefers to leave an empty and unused building just sitting there while local students are denied access.

"They do not care if school students graduating this year are not able to attend University because of distance and financial factors, or even about mature-aged students with local work and family commitments who are unable to attend Universities in the south east corner," he said.

Mr Perrett said he asked the Minister a Question Without Notice last week to allow the USC to access the building for the 2016 academic year.

"Yet again all the Minister could say is she will 'consider' proposals. The answer was dismissive and callous because she has been considering proposals for months," Mr Perrett said.

"Consideration has become a Government term for 'I don't care'."

"This issue has been going on for months and every time it is raised it hits a brick wall.

"The intentions of the University have been very clear all year as it was ready to sign off on an agreement just before the change of Government.

"For months I have been raising this issue with the Government in Questions, speeches and letters to the Minister.

"She just stonewalls, puts her head in the sand and refuses to budge.

"This is really all about paying back union demands and penalising our local students.