Mayor pleas with Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten to fund Queensland’s newest university falls on deaf ears so far
Mayor Allan Sutherland is staggered neither major political party has committed funding to the Moreton Bay Region University Project ahead of the Federal Election.
Moreton Bay Regional Council purchased the land for $50.5 million last year and has partnered with the University of the Sunshine Coast to open by 2020.
Council allocated $13.4 million from the 2016-17 budget last week for the project.
Cr Sutherland invited Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to visit the former paper mill site at Petrie, but has not had an RSVP from either party.
“I feel we have a better chance winning the lotto (than getting funding),” he said. “We’ve not been given so much as a ham sandwich at the moment.”
Cr Sutherland lashed out at the Federal Government’s promise of funding for a stadium in Townsville and labelled it a “kick in the guts for the people of the Moreton Bay Region”.
The Mayor said $200 million from a federal level would be ideal, but would take any amount.
Federal LNP MP for Dickson Peter Dutton said: “The university will help families and will help grow jobs and our local economy.”
“It is a good project and I will do whatever I can to provide support to the university proceeding,” he said.
Labor candidate for Dickson Linda Lavarch said: “Labor is aware of the proposal and will consider it”.
Federal LNP MP for Petrie Luke Howarth said if he was re-elected he would keep fighting for funding and work with the council and State Government.
“I . . . congratulate the Moreton Bay Regional Council on its foresight and determination to see our region succeed,” he said.
Labor candidate for Petrie Jacqui Pedersen said: “Labor will announce additional exciting higher education policies between now and the election.”
Cr Sutherland said he understood there was support, but it did not mean much without a funding commitment.
“If any party thinks I’ll go away after this election, they’re mistaken,” he said.
Source: Quest News