PARK, SCULLY & WATSON: LIBERALS REFUSE TO RULE OUT CUTS TO TAFE COURSES AND CLOSING MORE LOCAL TAFE
Labor has slammed the Berejiklian Government after they refused to rule out cutting TAFE courses and closing more local TAFE campuses across the Illawarra and South Coast.
During Question Time yesterday, Liberal Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education, Geoff Lee, refused to guarantee TAFE services would not be cut as a result of a Liberal-National review announced this week.
There are already 5,700 fewer teachers and staff and 175,000 fewer students since the Liberals and Nationals took Government in 2011. They have closed campuses across NSW including the Dapto campus which was replaced with a shop front.
“This Government has set about decimating TAFE since they took office which has left us with a skills shortage. They will stop at nothing until they completely dismantle TAFE” Shadow Minister for the Illawarra and South Coast Ryan Park said.
“Under the cover of a review, the Berejiklian Government is paving the way for fewer courses and even the closure of more campuses” he said.
Member for Wollongong, Paul Scully, said, “There is a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the West Wollongong TAFE campus.
“I have written to the new Chief Executive Officer of TAFE NSW requesting a firm guarantee that the West Wollongong TAFE campus will remain open and safe from any closure plans the Government may be planning.
“This Government has attacked TAFE time and time again and we saw yet another example of that when TAFE NSW sacked another 11 staff from West Wollongong and Wollongong TAFES on the eve of Christmas last year.”
Member for Shellharbour Anna Watson said “Since coming into power, this Government has waged an unprecedented war on TAFE."
“Under this Government, the once bustling Dapto TAFE campus was closed down and replaced with a mere shopfront in Dapto’s CBD."
“At a time when we should be encouraging people to seek further education, and upskill our workforce, this Government seems intent on decimating TAFE. It’s just not good enough,” she said.