Posted on 15. May, 2012 in Victoria
Regional TAFE campuses could be forced to close after the Baillieu Government’s decision to rip millions of dollars from the sector, it was revealed today.
In a Parliamentary Accounts and Estimates Committee hearing, Minister for Higher Education and Skills Peter Hall refused to rule out the possibility of campus closures following the Government’s $290 million a year funding cuts to TAFE.
In a recent letter, Mr Hall had admitted he had considered resigning over the cuts.
“The future of many regional TAFE campuses is increasingly uncertain,” Shadow Minister for Higher Education and Skills Steve Herbert said today.
“This is the second time Mr Hall has had the chance to rule out campus closures, and it is the second time he has refused.
“It’s clear higher education in Victoria is going backwards under Ted Baillieu and these cuts that could force campuses to close will only make the situation worse.”
Mr Herbert said the Baillieu Government either didn’t understand or didn’t care what impact its massive funding cuts would have on the TAFE sector or regional Victoria. “In many regional areas, TAFEs are the only option for people who want to take on further study or training,” Mr Herbert said.
“Forcing TAFEs to close campuses will limit the educational options for thousands of students, and could cost hundreds of jobs with campuses often a major employer in the local community.
“If a campus closes, the flow on impact to regional business and the local economy that rely on not only the jobs the campuses provide but the skills training they deliver will also be devastating.
“These cuts are bad news for people wanting to take on further training and bad news for communities in regional Victoria.”