Force awakens in Perrett as D’Ath evades discourse

IT WAS not quite Star Wars but Gympie MP Tony Perrett yesterday fired a shot across the bow of the State Government for ignoring calls to have urgent talks on the closure of courses at Gympie TAFE.

Mr Perrett (pictured) said yesterday the government had not responded to requests for urgent talks on the proposed disbanding of nursing studies at the Gympie TAFE next year.

"It has now been more than a week since I wrote to the Minister for Training and Skills, Yvette D'Ath seeking a reassurance about the continuation of the courses and requesting an urgent meeting with TAFE Queensland," Mr Perrett said.

"The silence has been deafening.

"All the minister has to do is send an email or pick up the phone - it can't be that hard to organise a meeting.

"Gympie is hearing it loud and clear that this government is treating our TAFE students with contempt.

"This issue is particularly distressing for many constituents who have reminded me that the Labor Party and its candidate during the last state election promised to maintain and in fact increase courses at the Gympie TAFE.

"As the continuation of TAFE courses was a specific commitment by the Labor Party I sought an assurance from the minister that the Government would rule out the removal or reduction of this or any other courses from the Gympie TAFE campus at the Gympie education and training precinct.

"They will not even reply to the request for an urgent meeting with the TAFE Queensland East Coast, general manager, Paul Wilson, to seek clarification on the proposed changes to Gympie TAFE."

Mr Perrett said the Nursing course was part of the collaborative arrangements Gympie TAFE had with the USC which is also located at the precinct.

"For the entire year the minister has continually ignored calls to support the USC expansion and now she is ignoring calls to support the continuation of nursing studies at TAFE," he said.

Gympie Times

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