Sale of TAFE campus 'not on agenda'

VICTORIAN Higher Education Minister Peter Hall says there are no current plans to close Bendigo TAFE's City Campus.

Mr Hall has moved to quash concerns about the future of the TAFE campus saying any sale or closure of the site was not being considered at the moment.

"This is not an option (the TAFE) is currently considering," Mr Hall wrote this week in response to questions from Bendigo West MP Maree Edwards.

Ms Edwards said there was uncertainty about the campus due to budget cuts and the financial pressure placed on the training provider.

Bendigo TAFE chief executive Peter Coyne said the sale of McCrae Street campus was "certainly not on the agenda".

"We're committed to McCrae Street," he said.

"We're undertaking a massive asset management review of all our campuses regionally. We’re much more interested in breathing new life into McCrae Street and making it a vibrant hub for students."

The TAFE announced 47 job losses in November.

Almost 100 TAFE staff were made redundant last year due to budget cuts. 

Ms Edwards said while there were no immediate plans to sell the campus it was difficult to know whether it would be kept as a public education provider in the long-term. 

She criticised the government for showing a "lack of transparency"

National Tertiary Education Union state secretary Colin Long said the union was concerned about the potential of TAFE campuses merging in the future.

"Bendigo’s in a worse position than many TAFEs," he said.

"Financially it’s in a lot of trouble. Bendigo is precarious as a stand-alone institution. We expect several of the TAFEs to be forced to merge."

A spokeswoman for Mr Hall said funding for Bendigo TAFE had increased 73 per cent since 2010.

Ms Edwards has called on the TAFE to release its budget figures to the public. 

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