In my role as the Shadow Assistant Minister for Education and Training, I have been meeting with the Vice Chancellors of many universities to hear from them about how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted on their universities. It was especially troubling to hear about the severe impacts on staff, students and communities.
It has been devastating.
Our universities are in crisis and unless the Federal Government starts including them in relief measures there will be no ‘snap back’ for this sector. Not for many years and maybe not ever. I fear the effects could be long-lasting.
Recently we learnt that three regional Queensland campuses will be closed in Noosa, Yeppoon and Biloela. Hundreds of jobs will be lost, not to mention the educational And research opportunities that will disappear.
If the LNP Members in those areas (Ken O’Dowd, Llew O’Brien and Michelle Landry) really cared about regional Queenslanders, they would be demanding Minister Tehan step up and save these Central Queensland University campuses.
Not helping our educational institutions through this COVID-19 crisis is short-sighted and a big mistake. Researchers in those universities are undertaking valuable work right now to fight COVID-19, and we will need a skilled workforce to build our economy once this crisis is over.
Minister Tehan needs to stop ignoring Queensland!