Posted on 08. Aug, 2012 in News

Staff and students from Swinburne TAFE marched on local Liberal MP Christine Fyffe’s office today, to protest the Baillieu Government’s $290 million cuts to TAFE which are forcing Swinburne to close the Lilydale campus.

The Shadow Minister for Higher Education and Skills, Steve Herbert, said protestors delivered an open letter to Ms Fyffe’s office in Lilydale, demanding she stand up against the cuts her Government were imposing on TAFEs across the state.

“The community has banded together to send the message to Ms Fyffe and Premier Ted Baillieu that these savage cuts are taking education and training in Victoria backwards,” Mr Herbert said.

“Swinburne’s TAFE operations will lose $35 million in annual funding, which has led directly to the decision to close the Lilydale campus, job losses, and fewer courses.

“The Baillieu Government must urgently meet with the administration at Swinburne and provide them the support they need to keep this vital campus open.”

Member for Monbulk and Shadow Education Minister James Merlino said it would be a disaster for the local area if the Baillieu Government allowed the Lilydale Campus to close.

“The closure of the campus also limits the educational opportunities available, not only in Lilydale but across Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs and beyond into regional Victoria,” he said.

“If this campus closes, it will also mean the end of the only university campus in the outer east.”

Mr Herbert said the impact of the cuts would be severe given the current economic climate.

“Victoria is in the midst of a jobs crisis, yet Mr Baillieu’s cuts are forcing more people to join the unemployment queue, while at the same time limiting people’s opportunities to access affordable skills and training,” Mr Herbert said.

“When the economy is contracting, responsible governments invest in skills and training to better prepare the workforce for recovery.

“Instead, the Baillieu Government is making unprecedented cuts that are devastating TAFE institutes around Victoria.

“The community has made their case clear – Mr Baillieu must reverse these cuts and start supporting TAFEs across Victoria.”


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