THE Standing Committee on Education and Employment will visit Bendigo on Wednesday to continue the public hearing schedule for its inquiry into TAFE and its operations.
The public hearings will give the committee an opportunity to hear from Victorian TAFE stakeholders and take evidence regarding the challenges and opportunities facing the wider community - specifically in relation to further education, employment and skills development.
The Bendigo public hearing is designed to provide the committee with a clear overview of the issues TAFE in Victoria is facing.
Last week, Bendigo TAFE acting chief executive Peter Coyne confirmed he was in the later stages of talks with Melbourne's Kangan Institute about a possible merger.
Federal Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters said she would request to make a statement at the start of Wednesday's public hearing.
"I'll first welcome the committee to Bendigo but then also speak specifically to the issues that Bendigo and central Victoria face," she said.
"I'll be highlighting how funding cuts have resulted in merger discussions and how disastrous that will be for our local community.
"I believe it will result in more and more students having to go to Melbourne to receive their vocational skills and training."
Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards has joined Lisa Chesters in standing up for Bendigo TAFE.
“The city of Bendigo deserves a standalone TAFE” Ms Edwards said.
“Hopefully this federal government public hearing will break open the secrecy surrounding the potential takeover of Bendigo TAFE.
"Bendigo deserves better than (Victorian Premier) Denis Napthine forcing our city to lose over 150 years of training behind closed doors."
The public hearing will be at the Bendigo Performing Arts Centre from 9am to 1.30pm on Wednesday.
For more information about the event, visit www.aph.gov.au/ee