Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry.
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry.

Landry: ‘Door not shut’ on CQuni as 99 more jobs slashed

‘THE DOOR is not shut on CQUnivserity’.

That is the message Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry wanted to make ‘absolutely clear’ after the Rockhampton-based education provider revealed plans to slash 99 jobs at its campuses on top of accepting 197 voluntary redundancies.

Ms Landry expressed concern over the further potential job losses at multiple campuses and said she was ‘heartbroken’ by them.

“Nobody welcomes this, especially during an economy-crushing pandemic such as the one we are experiencing now,” Ms Landry said.

“I understand CQUniversity has been seeking financial assistance through the state and federal governments.

“I want to make it absolutely clear the door is not shut on CQUniversity. We will continue to work with them constructively to determine ways to assist them during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Ms Landry said as she understood, universities were eligible for JobKeeper in the same way as any other business in Australia.

“Universities can access JobKeeper if they can demonstrate a 30 per cent reduction in revenue, or a 50 per cent reduction if turnover is over $1 billion,” she said.

“CQUniversity’s 30 per cent decrease in international student numbers equates to a 10 per cent decline in their total revenue. They require a 30 per cent decline in their total revenue to be eligible for JobKeeper.

“While CQUniversity haven’t experienced such a downturn to qualify, I have been making representations on their behalf to the Minister for Education and the Deputy Prime Minister to see what we can do to assist them.

“The Government’s higher education package guaranteed universities would receive more than $18 billion this year, even if they have a fall in domestic student numbers. It’s worth remembering that Federal Government funding represents about half of a university’s revenue.”

Ms Landry said according to the most recent financial data, in 2018 universities had total revenue of more than $34 billion, of which nearly $18 billion came from the Commonwealth.

“Out of that revenue, after cash expenses, universities had $4.6 billion in reserves,” she said.

“CQUniversity’s total revenue in 2018 was $448 million and about 48 per cent of it was attributed by the Federal Government.”

Ms Landry said repeated calls from the Queensland Government to assist CQUniversity were ‘political grandstanding’.