As you know, we have been in discussion with Federation University in an effort to find a sustainable solution to the challenges we face in Warrnambool.
I write to you today with an update on those talks.
Federation University Vice-Chancellor David Battersby has advised me that its Council met last Tuesday and discussed the possibilities of Federation University having a higher education presence in Warrnambool.
Federation University Council resolved to continue discussions with Deakin and the State and Federal governments through to 30 June.
I can also inform you that when the Deakin University Council met on Thursday to discuss the future of our Warrnambool campus, it deferred any decision about the matter until such time as our discussions with Federation University conclude.
Deakin has made an offer that is being considered by Federation University.
The proposal is a combined funding package from Deakin and the State and Federal governments.
I believe it is a strong offer. Alongside this discussion we are also looking at other options.
I must also recognise that we have the upcoming Federal Election, to be held on 2 July.
The Government released an options paper as part of its Budget which offers a detailed summary of the issues that need to be debated. The Opposition has articulated its own plan of policy and investment.
This Federal Election will be key in resolving what has been a protracted and emotional debate about funding and direction for higher education.
It is important we take note of the issues and factor them in to our deliberations.
I will, as always, continue to keep you informed.
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