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Mayor calls funding freeze a ‘stake in heart’ of regional university plan

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Mayor calls funding freeze a ‘stake in heart’ of regional university plan

Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland is seeking an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to ask him not to freeze funding for placements at Petrie university.

The Federal Government last month announced it would freeze enrolment­-based funding under a plan to save about $2.1 billion.

From 2020, funding increases would be linked to population and performance measures, effectively removing the incentive for universities to enrol as many students as possible.

“This is a reckless policy that couldn’t come at a worse time for Moreton Bay, with the planned construction and delivery of the new University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) campus in Petrie about to get underway,” Cr Sutherland said.

“The funding for the first building is via a $121 million loan to USC from the Federal Government and repayment will be financed from student attendance­ at the campus over time.

“This effectively drives a stake through the heart of this crucial regional project — as there’s no point having a campus that students can’t attend due to a lack of funded places.

“I’ve written to our local Members Luke Howarth and Peter Dutton imploring them to see sense and take up the fight for what’s right here in Moreton Bay.

“I’ve also written to the Deputy Prime Minister, Federal Treasurer and Education Minister because time is of the essence and we can’t afford to put this catalytic project in jeopardy.”

USC vice-chancellor Greg Hill said the funding freeze raised a cloud over the Moreton Bay campus.

“If there’s no growth in funding until then, we’ll have to look very closely at that,” he said.

An artist’s impression of the Petrie campus.

An artist’s impression of the Petrie campus.

Labor Senator for Queensland Chris Ketter went further, saying the cuts would put the future of the Petrie campus in doubt.

“Local Federal Members Peter Dutton and Luke Howarth have been vocal in their support for the new university precinct,” Mr Ketter said.

“I want to know what they are going to do about the negative impact that Malcolm Turnbull’s funding freeze will have on this project.”

The Government, in the 2017/18 Budget promised funding of more than $100 million to USC to begin construction­ of the Petrie campus.

Member for Dickson Peter Dutton said he would work to ensure the promised funding and the project would be delivered.

“Luke Howarth and I secured­ funding of over $100 million for the Petrie University, whereas no Labor member, at either State or Federal level, has secured even $1,” he said.

Moreton Bay Mayor Allen Sutherland talking with PM Malcolm Turnbull during a visit to the site of the Petrie university campus. Picture: Peter Wallis

Moreton Bay Mayor Allen Sutherland talking with PM Malcolm Turnbull during a visit to the site of the Petrie university campus. Picture: Peter Wallis

Education Minister Simon Birmingham said the plan, which would also make students repay loans faster, would put the tertiary system on “a more sustainable, responsible path”.

Mr Sutherland said USC was urgently requesting an agreement from the Federal Government that would secure its future.

It wants additional Commonwealth-supported student places for the new campus at 1000 equivalent full-time student load in 2020, with 2000 EFTSL in 2021 and 3000 EFTSL in 2022.

“USC needs surety around these numbers to know that the new Petrie campus will have student places available to it,” he said.

Originally Published: www.couriermail.com.au

Education

MP vows Petrie university campus will be a reality despite claims saying otherwise

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MP vows Petrie university campus will be a reality despite claims saying otherwise

PETRIE University will go ahead, according to federal LNP Member for Dickson Peter Dutton.

Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland last week claimed the university was in doubt because of the Federal Government’s freeze on funding for placements.

State Labor MP for Murrumba Steven Miles on Monday claimed Mr Dutton had “turned his back on our region”.

“I will stand with Mayor Sutherland and our other MPs to get this decision reversed,” he said.

Mr Dutton, however, said the comments from Mr Miles were “juvenile”.

“The university will go ahead and I will make it happen by working behind the scenes, not through some juvenile public exchange,” he said.

Regional Universities Network meanwhile has slammed the funding freeze with chairman Greg Hill, who is also vice chancellor at USC, saying its members “can only remain financially viable if we have growth in student numbers to cover outlays already made”.

Originally Published: couriermail.com.au

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Education

New school for southeast Queensland growth hotspot

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moreton, education, infastracture

A NEW school has been promised for a southeast Queensland growth hotspot, but it’s exact location is yet to be decided.

The secondary school will be built in the North Lakes/Mango Hill area to take pressure off existing schools nearing capacity by 2020.

Education Minister Kate Jones made the announcement at Mango Hill State School on Monday.

Ms Jones said once the site was finalised, Education Queensland would look at the catchment area.

She said students in Griffin may need to be considered to take future pressure off Murrumba State Secondary College.

The new school will cost about $36 million to build.

Ms Jones said the commitment was a win for one of the state’s fastest growing regions and proof of the Government’s dedication to delivering more education infrastructure across Queensland.

“We have listened to the concerns of locals about the demand for education resources in North Lakes and Mango Hill,” she said.

“This will help to ensure we can achieve our goal of giving the best possible quality of education to every child in Queensland.”

A new school will be built in the North Lakes/Mango Hill area. File photo.

With 3008 students, North Lakes State College is currently at 76 per cent of its capacity.

But Ms Jones said growth projections for North Lakes and Mango Hill meant the Government’s plans for a new school in 2020 was a win for the community.

“This is a huge investment for the Government and is totally separate to our $118 million investment to build three schools in southeast Queensland.”

State Labor MP for Murrumba Chris Whiting said he had long advocated for a new school in the area and was happy the Government had listened to residents and committed to deliver for the people of North Lakes and Mango Hill.

“The junior and middle campus at North Lakes State College is forecast to reach its capacity by 2021,” Mr Whiting said.

“This will make sure we have the teaching resources we need to give our children the best education possible into the future.”

Originally Published: www.couriermail.com.au

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Education

Govt loan to help Coast Uni’s new campus

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THE University of the Sunshine Coast would receive a concessional loan to finance construction of the foundation facilities needed to kick start its proposed Moreton Bay university campus in Caboolture.

But the government has withheld the amount involved stating the financial implications were not for publication until negotiations with the university into the final loan terms were determined.

The concessional loan is in addition to the $35.0 million grant provided to the Moreton Bay Regional Council for infrastructure to support the university precinct as part of the 2016 17 budget funding.

The federal government says the concessional loan would support the development of a City Deals Strategy for South East Queensland, which would involve inviting the Queensland Government, and local governments in the region, to work with the Commonwealth to support economic development in key growth areas, including by developing a long term plan for the region.

The Communications and Arts Portfolio budget papers mention $250,000 related to a submarine cable which appears to be money Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson was seeking towards developing a business case to support the connection of an international broadband submarine cable to the region.

The link is seen as a critical piece of digital infrastructure to assist the broadening of the Sunshine Coast’s economic base.

However while it was listed in the 2016-17 estimates it was not included as a line for 2017-18.

 

Originally Published: https://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/

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