The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell says the ruling out of State funding towards the La Trobe University Shepparton campus expansion by Higher Education Minister Gayle Tierney shows that the Andrews Labor Government does not care about Shepparton and the Goulburn Valley.
In response to a direct question by Ms Lovell in State Parliament this week seeking a State Government contribution to the planned expansion, Ms Tierney directly ruled out any State funding for the project, stating any funding was the responsibility of the Federal Government.
When it was pointed out by Ms Lovell that the Federal Coalition Government had committed $5 million for the expansion, Ms Tierney resorted to playing politics, pointing the finger at the Federal Government and treating this important issue as a ping-pong ball in the political blame game.
La Trobe University Shepparton has outgrown its current facilities and needs to expand to cater for an expected 48% increase in students over the next five years. The planned expansion will allow them to deliver more courses for more students that will positively impact on Shepparton’s workforce needs.
The disappointing response from the Minister towards this important project shows the Andrews Labor Government has no regard for the future of higher education in Shepparton and the Goulburn Valley.
Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell:
“Shepparton currently has a youth unemployment of around 15%, the second highest in the state and the planned expansion will allow La Trobe University courses that will directly address the workforce needs of the Shepparton region and assist young people off the unemployment list and into jobs.
“Gayle Tierney’s direct refusal to provide a State contribution to the expansion shows that the Andrews Labor Government has no regard for the future of both La Trobe University in Shepparton and the young people of the Goulburn Valley.”