LNP stance on merger criticised

LABOR politicians have been queuing up to attack Member for Mirani Ted Malone over his statement that he will not automatically rubber stamp the merger of CQUniversity and CQ TAFE.

Leading the assault yesterday was Kirsten Livermore, the Federal Member for Capricornia who spoke in Parliament on the issue.

"Mr Speaker, (LNP leader) Campbell (Newman) must commit now...or we risk losing $73.8 million in Commonwealth funding for our Central Queensland university," Ms Livermore said.

"Central Queensland students and businesses will miss out unless Labor is re-elected or Mr Newman comes to his senses."

Bill Byrne, the Labor candidate for Rockhampton at the state election said Mr Malone's position was unsustainable.

"The merger will position our kids to make the most of the region's tremendous opportunities.

"We can't risk the merger and this federal funding. Why would anyone wanting to lead this state risk losing $74 million worth of federal funding."

Mr Malone said yesterday that while the LNP supported the merger in principle he was determined to achieve the best outcome for everyone, including taxpayers.

"It's a big issue in CQ, but it's a bigger issue in the state and we have to respond to the need to train more apprentices.

"We have to make sure we get this right for everyone.

"I estimate there is more than $100 million worth of TAFE assets in Central Queensland and unlike Labor we are not in the business of giving away or selling state assets.

"We have to ask if the university will continue to focus on the boilermakers, electricians and plumbers."



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