10 October 2012

The Baillieu Government will not invest the funds from TAFE campus sales back into vocational education and training, Member for Brunswick Jane Garrett said today.

When asked in Parliament this week about the sale of campuses marked for closure in leaked cabinet documents, the Premier failed to guarantee that the money raised would be reinvested back into the Victorian TAFE system.

Ms Garrett said this was disastrous news for Kangan Institute which operates in the Moreland area and was struggling with the $25 million cut from its budget by the Baillieu Government.

“First the Baillieu Government slashed $290 million in funding, forcing TAFEs across Victoria to sell assets, and now in a double blow the Premier has refused to guarantee that TAFEs can keep the money from asset sales so they can continue to operate,” Ms Garrett said.

“No one wants to see TAFE campuses close, but the Baillieu Government’s multi-million dollar cuts to TAFEs have forced Kangan Institute to make tough decisions to keep its head above water.

“But instead of supporting our TAFE system, Mr Baillieu is turning his back on them when they need support most by failing to guarantee that any asset sales would be re-invested back into the system.”

Ms Garrett said this would place further financial pressure on a system that is already struggling with unprecedented budget cuts.

“Following on from the budget cuts announced earlier this year, TAFEs will be alarmed to discover that the Baillieu Government isn’t prepared to throw them a lifeline at all,” Jane Garrett said.

“The leaked transition plans show clearly that TAFEs across Victoria run the very real risk of operating in deficit unless there is some support from government.

“Without this support from government, TAFEs across the state only have a few options left: raise fees, sack staff and cut less popular courses.

“Mr Baillieu must be aware that there is only so long the system can take this pressure before we start to see TAFEs merge or close altogether.”

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