30 April 2012
Minister steps into lions' den
Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy stepped into the lions' den at RMIT University and got out alive.
Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy in class with fourth year town planning students.
He turned up to go head-to-head with 33 fourth year town planning students as part of their work practice for the final year of their Bachelor of Urban and Regional Planning.
And with RMIT offering the only undergraduate town planning degree in Melbourne, he knows he'll be hearing from them again.
The minister addressed the class for 20 minutes, outlining the long-term planning issues that the State Government was dealing with to accommodate growth throughout Victoria.
Then for 40 minutes the students hit the minister with well informed non-stop questions, with Associate Professor John Jackson, Program Director, Planning and Environment, proudly looking on.
The Minister, a La Trobe University graduate from the class of '95, commented that he had been in Parliament for six years but the students were a tougher and more informed audience than he normally dealt with in the House.
Professor David Hayward, Dean, School of Global Studies, Social Science and Planning, said the visit highlighted just how important the RMIT town planning program was to the future of Victoria.
"The minister very generously took more than an hour out of his day to come and engage with the class," he said.
"The minister did that because he understands that those 33 students in that class will be the people providing the planning recommendations throughout Victoria over the next 40 years in both the local and state government areas and the private sector.
"That direct practical engagement in our classroom from the Planning Minister is just one of the reasons that this program is so highly regarded in the profession.
"The visit reflects very well on the minister. He took time out to engage with the next generation of planners when the many pressing matters before him could all too easily have kept him away."
Professor David Hayward.
Associate Professor John Jackson.