Labor’s TAFE debacle getting worse
The Melbourne Labor Government has rejected the latest request for funding to move the Fulham campus of Federation Training into the Sale CBD.
The news comes at the same time State Parliament heard that Federation Training’s annual report for 2015 had still not been tabled or finalised raising questions over Labor’s handling of the TAFE system.
The Nationals Member for Gippsland South said he has been campaigning for funding to move the campus into Sale since being elected two years ago and the newest minister, Gayle Tierney, has still not committed to any support.
“I raised this matter again late last year in Parliament and the answer I have now received form the Minister is disappointing, saying only that the government continues to work with Federation Training.
“What concerns me is that clearly Federation Training still has significant issues and it is Gippsland students who are suffering.
“Last week, during Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) hearings, I queried the department on why the report was still outstanding and whether the government has any concerns over Federation Training’s financial situation.
“I’m advised that the Auditor-General continues to work on finances, which is alarming after the previous year’s annual report was also delayed.”
Mr O’Brien said that the government had talked big on TAFE but was failing to deliver.
“Labor claims that there was a TAFE crisis under the former Liberal-Nationals Government and yet there’s been a 45% drop in the number of students enrolled in vocational and further education since December 2014.
“Minister Tierney, in her response to me, claims that under the Coalition that jobs would have been lost, campuses closed and courses cut.
“Well here’s the reality, dozens of jobs disappeared just before Christmas, the nursing course at Fulham is no longer being offered and there’s a question mark over the future of some Federation Training campuses.
“Labor talked a big game but it’s failing to deliver for Gippsland students.
“It’s time Daniel Andrews, Gayle Tierney and Harriet Shing showed whether or not they really care about Gippsland students and businesses or whether they were just all talk in opposition.”