Wednesday, 21 December 2011

North Coast Nats trying to create a false impression they had a hand in getting federal funding?

If one undertook a vox pop on the streets of Coffs Harbour next week it would be likely that Luke Hartsuyker’s name rather than Rob Oakeshott’s name would be associated with $35 million in Gillard Government funding, after this North Coast Nationals shameless attempt to hijack the announcement.

Excerpt from Independent MP for Lyne Rob Oakeshott media release on 19 December 2011:

FOR the second time in a month, Independent Lyne MP Robert Oakeshott has announced a multi-million windfall for education on the Mid-North Coast.
The Commonwealth will invest $20 million in a health and medical education campus in Port Macquarie – the first of its kind in regional Australia.
Just two weeks ago, the MP announced $15 million towards a Port Macquarie campus for Charles Sturt University.
Today’s announcement involves a multi-partner medical education campus involving the University of New South Wales, the University of Newcastle and the North Coast Institute of TAFE.
“This has been a fantastic fortnight for higher education on the Mid-North Coast, with a record investment of $35 million in tertiary education infrastructure involving three leading universities and the North Coast Institute of TAFE,” Mr Oakeshott said.
“Even more significant than the dollars, is that this campus will be the first regional medical school in Australia where students can complete the entire six-year course, a remarkable outcome for our local students and the university and clinical specialists involved.
“I am absolutely serious about reversing the brain-drain from the Mid-North Coast, and making our region an education hub for the nation,” Mr Oakeshott said.
“The University of NSW will deliver a full six-year medical degree in Port Macquarie from 2014, which is a first for regional Australia, and an important game-changer in the way medical degrees are delivered nationally.

How The Coffs Coast Advocate reported these facts in an online article with photograph which was primarily National Party ‘spin’ on 20 December 2011:

LOCAL Federal member Luke Hartsuyker has welcomed the announcement that his parliamentary colleague Rob Oakeshott has helped to secure $20 million in funding to go toward a multi-partner medical campus in Port Macquarie.

Mr Hartsuyker said that the boost for Port Macquarie's economy should be seen as a pat on the back for all regional town centres not just the Hastings area.
"Everyone welcomes more medical facilities and more medical training in regional areas," Mr Hartsuyker said.
In the past fortnight Mr Oakeshott has announced $33 million in federal money going towards his constituents in the seat of Lyne after recently announcing $13 million that the independant MP helped to get granted to Charles Sturt University to help pay for a Regional University Centre at Port Macquarie.
The local member said that money had already been allocated to the Coffs Coast region when it became a trailblazer in rural medical training.

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