MEMBER for Bendigo West Maree Edwards has labelled the goverment’s funding backflip as a band-aid fix for TAFE.
Member for Northern Victoria Region Damian Drum was enthusiastic about the $200 million funding injection, announced yesterday, but Ms Edwards had reservations.
“The restoration of less than 20 per cent of the millions cut from TAFE is too little too late,” Ms Edwards said.
“This announcement has come too late to save the jobs of thousands of TAFE teachers across Victoria and those who lost their jobs in Bendigo... Labor has committed to fully fund TAFE’s community sector obligations.
“The crumbs being thrown to TAFE from the Liberal National Government table pales in comparison.”
The government yesterday announced it will provide an extra $200 million in TAFE funding over four years, meaning all Victoria’s regional TAFEs can remain open.
The move comes less than 12 months after the government cut $300 million from vocational training and follows the government’s acceptance of most of the recommendations made from the TAFE Review Panel.
Ms Edwards described the new money as “competitive funding”.
“This is money that TAFEs all have to compete for, they will have to put in submissions for it... that’s only a small amount of money when you go around all the TAFEs in Victoria.”
Meanwhile, Mr Drum welcomed yesterday’s announcement and said it showed the Coalition government was committed to a financially sustainable TAFE sector.
“Regional and rural TAFEs receive an extra five per cent on top of the standard training subsidy,” he said.
“We have already recognised that regional TAFEs have a special relationship with their community and that they might not be able to achieve the economies of scale of some metropolitan institutions.
“The changes today will help Bendigo TAFE make its own decisions to suit its own local circumstances without much of the red tape which has been applied in the past.”