NEW UNI: An artist's impression of what the new USC Petrie campus may look like.
NEW UNI: An artist's impression of what the new USC Petrie campus may look like. Contributed

USC affirms commitment to the Petrie campus

THE man in charge of the University of the Sunshine Coast's Petrie campus has quashed claims that the university has withdrawn its association with the project.

A post on the Reclaim Caboolture Shire website claimed the group had been informed the USC had pulled out of the project.

"As we watched the demolition of the old Petrie paper mill (mayor in the foreground) crashing to the ground, we were informed that the Sunshine Coast University has withdrawn from association with the Petrie uni campus owing to lack of suitable financial support," the website said.

But USC chief operating officer Dr Scott Snyder said that was most definitely not the case.

"The university is as committed as it's ever been and is working with all parties to get the best possible outcome for the region," he said.

"We have certain planning activities that have to be completed, but we have asked for a three-month extension to reach those planning milestone until we know what the funding package looks like.

"The university would still be on track to open in 2020 as planned but until the election has passed, we are at a hiatus."

Labor last week announced it would commit $98 million to the project if elected next month but the LNP have not yet pledged any funding.

Moreton Bay Council mayor Allan Sutherland said the council was working closely with the USC to secure federal funding support for the new Petrie campus.

"Council remains committed to this project, the university is committed, and we hope both the major parties are committed to this project," he said.

The Petrie Campus is expected to cater for 10,000 students in 10 years, but Dr Snyder said funding would dictate the pace in which it reached that milestone.

"It can either be large from the outset or start small and grow quickly, the end size will be dictated by the programs offered and the number of people who live around the campus," he said.

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