Denis Napthine’s cuts to TAFE have pushed many institutes including Victoria University to the brink of financial collapse, Member for Altona District Jill Hennessy said.
She said that the reports that Victoria University – one of the state’s largest TAFE providers – will cut 300 jobs, many as a direct result of the Napthine Government’s cuts to the TAFE sector is devastating news for staff and their families, and communities in Melbourne’s west.
These cuts come on top of recent data outlined in Victoria University’s Annual Report that revealed a further funding loss of $18.5 million from the State Government in 2013, a decrease of 25 per cent on the previous year.
Total funding from state and local governments have dropped at Victoria University from $105.4 million in 2010 to just $57.7 million in 2013 – a cut of around 45 per cent in just three years.
“Because of the government’s TAFE cuts, course fees have skyrocketed and skills-training is out of reach for many Victorians,” Ms Hennessy said.
“Courses have been dropped or scaled back and several TAFE campuses have closed. Denis Napthine’s $1.2 billion in cuts to TAFE are placing institutes in crisis, forcing them to cut jobs rather than deliver students the skills they require for new jobs in the economy now and into the future. When jobs are disappearing and businesses are shutting down, the last thing we need is more TAFE jobs to go,” Ms Hennessy said.
She added that the “smoke and mirrors training package for the automotive sector” announced by Denis Napthine was nothing more than “emergency funding to prop up a TAFE system in crisis”.
“It is dishonest to call emergency funding for a sector in crisis an ‘investment’ but the newly appointed Minister for Higher Education, Nick Wakeling, stands by his Government’s $1.2 billion in TAFE cuts. Denis Napthine has no idea of the damage he’s done to TAFE campuses and communities across Victoria, especially in the Melbourne’s west,” Ms Hennessy said.
“Jobs are going and gone. Courses are going and gone. Skills are going and gone. Campuses are gone. No amount of spin from Denis Napthine or his ministers will be of any comfort to the 300 staff at Victoria University who will lose their jobs because of this government’s savage cuts to TAFE,” Ms Hennessy said.
Indian Diaspora Australia, Indian Diaspora Melbourne