Tim Nichols and Tony Perrett at the USC building in Gympie. .
Tim Nichols and Tony Perrett at the USC building in Gympie. . Renee Albrecht

Perrett calls on Premier to sack 'contemptuous' D'Ath

GYMPIE MP Tony Perrett says Training Minister Yvette D'Ath should go because of her "gross incompetence and contemptuous treatment” of Gympie residents.

"For more than two years the minister has refused to make a very simple decision to allow the University of the Sunshine Coast to lease an empty and unused TAFE building so that it can offer more courses and provide more places for locals,” Mr Perrett said.

"It is not asking for the entire site.

"It is just asking to use a locked up and empty building which sits across the car park at the Gympie Education Precinct.

"TAFE has said it doesn't even want the building.

"When it was raised again this week the Minister hid behind a spokesman and said that she could not make a decision because she was waiting on her 10 year Strategic Infrastructure Plan of TAFE facilities.”

The minister said two years ago the plan would be released in July last year.

"Nothing happened,” Mr Perrett said.

"When I asked in December last year for a release date the minister said she had no idea, didn't know the timeline, and could not name a date for the release of even a draft plan.

"This is a farce and it is absolutely disgraceful the contempt the minister, and the Labor Government, are showing us.

"It is obvious the minister is either not in control of the agenda or her department and is ducking the decision.

"It is time the Premier stood up for the students and residents of Gympie who want to gain tertiary qualifications and sack this minister.

"Last week I attended the graduation of 13 students who studied at the Gympie campus of the USC.

"It makes you wonder how many more could have been at that ceremony.

"This week we learnt of a $2 billion investment for a solar farm by Solar Q and we have a minister who cannot even make a decision about a closed up building.

"That investment could provide many opportunities for students, the university, and local schools with approaches already being made about how they can work this into their curiculums.

"Because nothing can happen until the USC can increase its presence I have launched an online petition calling on the minister to give us the keys.

"The Minister's disdain for locals and her sheer incompetence is reckless and hurting our students.

"Students in the Minister's electorate have the choice of a University a few kilometres away at the Australian Catholic University, a satellite campus of QUT in Caboolture, and a massive USC campus being built in Petrie.

"They also have the option to live at home and still be able to study at QUT in the city, the University of Queensland at St Lucia, and Griffith University at Nathan.

"Gympie students are asking for just one option and a fair go.

"The indecision is creating lost opportunities for local students who are not able to attend University because of distance and financial factors, for the high number of unemployed youth who want to gain skills, and for mature-aged students who are trying to upskill but are not able to move away because of work and family commitments.

"Premier: It is time the Minister was shown the door and told to pack up her office,” he said

Link to the petition is: http://www.uscgympietafe.com.au

Gympie Times

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