Battle for Wide Bay: 4 candidates have their say on TAFE and university opportunities in Gympie
THE Wide Bay is desperate for apprenticeships and traineeships and the Glen Lazarus Team is opposed to cuts in TAFE colleges in Gympie and throughout regional Queensland, GLT Wide Bay candidate Jannean Dean says.
“The Glenn Lazarus Team is opposed to cuts to the TAFE system and advocates for the availability of TAFE courses particularly in regional and remote areas of the country,” Ms Dean says.
“The Glenn Lazarus Team also advocates for affordable higher education courses to ensure they are available to all.
“The Wide Bay is desperate for apprenticeships and traineeships and we believe without a strong, consistent supply of apprentices, Australia’s economic performance would be placed at risk.
“Boosting the quality of apprenticeships and vocational training, so they represent a pathway to skilled employment, not only helps those wanting to kick start their careers, but also wider economic growth.”
On the issue of expanding the University of the Sunshine Coast campus in Gympie Ms Dean says the greatest investment a nation can make is in its people.
“Nations that invest in their people through education create social cohesion, innovation, positive communities and strong forward thinking economies,” she said.
“We believe education should be available to all.
“We believe the Australian Government has an important role to play in supporting the delivery of a world class higher education system which encourages participation and enables fair access by all. We stand against the deregulation of university fees and believe a national approach to Australia’s educational curriculum; one that enriches our people while celebrating and advancing our great nation; and the delivery of additional assistance to regional and rural Australia and other priority areas.”
Llew O’Brien says he has “personally benefited from completing courses at the Gympie TAFE so I understand what an important local facility it is”.
“I will work with the State Government to ensure our Gympie TAFE is maintained and resourced properly to deliver the courses our community needs,” he said.
On the issue of the USC campus, Mr O’Brien wants local students to be able to study locally.
“I support the expansion of the University of Sunshine Coast in Gympie to provide more courses and will work with the university to help it meet the needs of our community.
“I have had one child start their tertiary education at the Gympie Campus of the Sunshine Coast University who then had to move to the Sunshine Coast as the remainder of subjects were not offered in Gympie.
“I want our young people to be able to stay in Gympie to completed their studies if they wish.
Lucy Stanton says Labor is “committed to blue collar jobs as well as white collar jobs”.
“Labor plans for 15,000 new places for apprentices of all ages right across the nation and we will clean out those dodgy private colleges that have been tricking our kids into vocational training that only results in debt for our youth, not qualifications or jobs,” she said.
“Labor will ensure that one in 10 workers employed in our major public infrastructure projects is an Australian apprentice. We need a representative who will fight like a ‘dog with a bone’ to ensure that we get our fair share of those placements in jobs like building the Bruce Hwy and the NBN.”
On the issue of expanding the University of the Sunshine Coast campus here in Gympie, Ms Stanton says she will lobby hard.
“Like in Noosa where I have already worked in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and closely with the State Government to submit a formal proposal to re-open Noosa TAFE and keep it as a training facility, so too will I do the same for Gympie,” she said.
“I intend to put every effort into working with the University and TAFE here in Gympie to get good outcomes for those wanting to study and re-skill.”
Barry Cook believes TAFE needs to redevelop to allow the university to expand.
“Better and more effective co-operation from the Gympie council, state and federal (is needed) to support this redevelopment,” Mr Cook says.
“Travel for university students is a major issue to USC Sippy Downs and under utilises research offering in the Gympie region which has a huge potential (sic).
“This contributes to the economy by having lectures, support staff and students staying in Gympie. We also need a Gympie council that is able to be represented by the people who elected them so these issues can be presented to council.”