TAFE4All takes fight direct to Peter Hall
05 June 2012
Students and teachers from Central Gippsland Institute of TAFE will hold a public rally outside Minister Peter Hall's electoral office today to protest the Baillieu Government's $300 million budget cuts to the public TAFE system.
The rally – to be held in conjunction with the AEU and the National Tertiary Education Union – will be held out the front of The Minister for the Teaching Profession and the local Gippsland member Peter Hall's office in Traralgan.
Minister Hall last month made a shock admission that he could not rule out the closure of regional TAFE campuses.
GippsTAFE has announced they will lose between $7 and $10 million in funding and that there will be course closures, up to 100 job losses and potential campus closures as a result of the Budget cuts.
AEU Victorian branch president Mary Bluett said the decision to cut funding was ludicrous given the high percentage of youth unemployment in the area and the fact Gippsland has low school retention rates compared to other regions in Victoria.
"The Gippsland community is highly reliant on their TAFE and the decision by the Baillieu Government to cut nearly $10 million is completely out of touch," she said.
"Every TAFE across Victoria will be impacted by the State Government's cuts, but our regional TAFEs are particularly vulnerable.
"Regional TAFEs are a crucial part of the community and the decision by the Baillieu Government to cut funding in up to 80 per cent of vocational courses puts the viability of these TAFEs on the line.
"Today we will show the Baillieu Liberal-National Coalition Government that their $300 million in Budget cuts will not be tolerated. They must be held accountable for the job losses, course cancellations, campus closures and fee increases for students that they have caused.
"The Government should be committing to a well-resourced, high quality TAFE sector and encouraging learning, not making it harder for students.
"We call on the Skills Minister, Peter Hall to attend an urgent meeting and put a stop to these cuts before more damage is done."
NTEU Victorian Secretary Dr Colin Long said the Baillieu Government's cuts would seriously impact on regional economies, jobs and the career opportunities for students living in regional areas.
"The Unions are urging the community to get behind their local TAFEs and to take the message to the Government that we're not going to stand by and watch public vocational education be destroyed," Mr Long said.
Show your support for our Victorian public TAFE students and teachers by joining the campaign at TAFE4All.org.au.