Lisa Chesters seeks urgent meeting to address La Trobe job cuts

MEMBER for Bendigo Lisa Chesters plans to meet with La Trobe University staff and students to discuss the looming job cuts.

La Trobe University announced on Friday it is shedding 350 full-time jobs, including some from the Bendigo campus.

It is unclear how many Bendigo jobs will be slashed.

"It's too early to know where these changes will occur and who will be affected so that's why I'm seeking an urgent meeting," Ms Chesters said.

"And I'll be in there campaigning really hard to see as many Bendigo jobs saved as possible because our campus is doing really well.

"We've done everything right - we've increased our numbers and we've become a centre of excellence in a couple of key areas.

"Bendigo should not be punished for being a success story."

The job cut announcement was made on Friday in a videocast broadcast to staff members of all La Trobe campuses.

La Trobe vice-chancellor John Dewar would not say how many jobs the Bendigo campus would lose.

Professor Dewar said the redundancies would include administration staff and academics.

Professor Dewar said La Trobe had enrolled 1300 more students this year than last.

But he said government cuts and increased operating costs, such as IT resources and insurance, meant the university was facing a "gap" between revenue and expenditure.

"I understand why the university has made this move now because the government has flagged, in the upcoming budget, further cuts," Ms Chesters said.

"I've already spoken with the campus director and I've offered my assistance and support in any way I can.

"I'm seeking a meeting with John Dewar to discuss the impacts of these redundancies and changes to the Bendigo La Trobe campus.

"I'm planning to meet with students, representative and with staff representatives because I'm concerned that any reduction in staff could affect teaching and course delivery and quality.

"I'm heartened to hear from the vice-chancellor that they have a plan on how to continue to deliver an innovative education program but I'd like to learn more about it."

Ms Chesters said to lose 350 jobs from any organisation was a "devastating blow".

"But I'm not surprised and I understand why the university has made this call now," she said.

"The outlook for university funding from our federal government is not good."

Ms Chesters said job cuts would have a ripple affect within the Bendigo community.

"We can't afford to lose that money, that wage, being withdrawn from our local economy," she said.

"There's a knock-on effect - those wages are then spent in our local shops and restaurants.

"Where do they go for work?

"Do they leave Bendigo or do they look for other work locally?

"They're then competing with others already competing for work."

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