Gympie MP Tony Perrett
Gympie MP Tony Perrett Arthur Gorrie

Perrett: State has treated our school leavers with contempt

GYMPIE MP Tony Perrett says the saga of the Gympie TAFE building lease to USC should never have been allowed to go on for the five years that it did.

The university confirmed this week a lease for the building had been signed last Friday.

"The behaviour about this issue during the past four and half years is contemptible,” Mr Perrett said.

"Despite a fanfare announcement four months ago by the Minster for Training and Skills, Shannon Fentiman, it turned out the lease hadn't even been signed.

student commons area at USC Gympie campus
Student commons area at USC Gympie campus

"Last month I asked the Minister a Question on Notice about the lease which meant she had until Thursday (July 11) to provide an answer to the Parliament. *

"That is the same day that the USC signed the lease and two days after it was finally signed by the Government.

"It has taken 121 days or a third of a year to fess up.

"The Government was clearly embarrassed into putting its signature on the document.


"If not it would have been exposed as trying to pull a scam over Gympie residents and students about this uncomplicated and simple lease.

"At the March media event the Minister let everyone believe that everything had been signed, sealed and delivered.

"It was far from the case.

"I asked the Minister the same question back in February and we were told the lease was sent to the USC.

"Then the Minister rushed to Gympie to make the announcement in March, 17 days before it was even sent to the USC.

Gympie USC expansion Tony Perrett and Jarro Bleijie
Gympie USC expansion Tony Perrett and Jarro Bleijie Renee Albrecht

"This is not a multi-billion dollar project.

"It is a simple lease for an empty building which TAFE doesn't want, was being left to deteriorate while a tenant was ready to gain access.

"Why did they make it so hard?

"I've had to ask the Minister exactly the same thing that we have been asking for ever since I was elected in 2015.

Tony Perrett at the Gympie USC.
Tony Perrett at the Gympie USC. Renee Albrecht

"It is ridiculous the lengths it has gone to over the past four a half years to avoid delivering on a much needed and common sense solution to helping Gympie residents access university.

"Everyone is frustrated this has gone on so long.

"The Government has treated our school leaver students who want to study here and mature aged students who want to upskill with contempt,” he said.