USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill
USC Vice-Chancellor Professor Greg Hill CONTRIBUTED

USC, Fentiman at loggerheads over Gympie TAFE building

THE stalemate over an empty building at the Gympie TAFE campus seems to have no end in sight, with Training and Skills Development Minister Shannon Fentiman releasing a statement late yesterday that the USC had rejected a proposal from her department.

Ms Fentiman said she had been working with Gympie Regional Council and the University of the Sunshine Coast to come to an arrangement that suited both parties, but the USC was offering to pay only $1 a year for 30 years to rent the building.

ICE SCOURGE: Gympie MP Tony Perrett and Dr Christian Rowan.
Gympie MP Tony Perrett and Dr Christian Rowan. Tom Daunt

"We've been working really closely with council and the USC and thought we had reached an agreement around a reasonable rental arrangement,” she said.

"The University has had the draft lease since October and USC has disappointingly gone back to their original position of wanting to pay $1 per year for 30 years.

"The proposal represents a reasonable and fair deal and is consistent with the other TAFE sites across the state.

Shannon Fentiman, Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks at the Women on Boards conference at the Armitage Centre Empire Theatres. Wednesday, 26th Sep, 2018.
Shannon Fentiman, Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Nev Madsen

"We have committed to contribute $130,000 towards refurbishing teaching space for USC students, in addition to the support of the local council and Mayor Mick Curran who committed $100,000 in August.

"Unlike the local MP, I believe USC should pay their fair share for the property lease so that money can be reinvested in training local students.

"Regardless of the lease negotiations, which will continue, the University has been advised students will be accommodated for the start of the 2019 academic year.”