Media Releases

11
Jun

Higher Education Minister’s lack of answers highlights more problems with Labor’s Shepparton Education Plan.

The Liberal Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell has slammed the Andrews Labor Government on yet another missed deadline and failure to deliver a major component of the Shepparton Education Plan, with a key Minister failing to answer simple questions on the document.

In a question from Ms Lovell to Minister for Higher Education, Training & Skills Gayle Tierney in question time seeking when the Higher Education and Skills component of the Shepparton Education Plan would be finalised and published, Ms Tierney looked like she had no idea the plan even existed and refused to answer this basic question.

Higher Education and Skills, of which Ms Tierney is the relevant Minister, is the fourth component of the Shepparton Education Plan and was originally due to be completed and published in June 2019. When the Government failed to meet this deadline, its completion was rescheduled for early to mid-2020. This deadline was also not met and pushed out further until May this year.

In her question, Ms Lovell said that this latest deadline had now passed, and the Higher Education and Skills component was still not completed and asked Ms Tierney when it would be finalised and released to the public. A flustered Ms Tierney refused to answer this simple question, instead providing general comments on the work of local higher education and skills providers.

The Shepparton Education Plan’s Stage 1 Secondary component established the controversial one-campus school for up to 3000 students and the Stage 2 Early Childhood component consists of nothing more than aspirations and motherhood statements. The Stage 3 Primary component of the plan has disappeared after missing four deadlines and the status of the Stage 4 Higher Education and Skills component is also unknown.

Comments attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Wendy Lovell:

“As the Minister for Higher Education, Training & Skills, Gayle Tierney should be aware of the details on this stage of the Shepparton Education Plan, yet she was incapable of answering a simple question about when it will be released.

“The failure to deliver both the Primary and Higher Education and Skills components of the Shepparton Education Plan demonstrates a lack of commitment by the Andrews Labor Government to improving educational outcomes in Greater Shepparton and continues to cause great concern in the local community.”

ENDS

Media Contact:  Jason Kelly         0413 103 240       jason.kelly@parliament.vic.gov.au  

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