Calls for TAFE public meeting

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan. Picture: JIM ALDERSEY

JACINTA Allan and Maree Edwards are calling on the council to host a public meeting about the likely merger of Bendigo TAFE and the Melbourne-based Kangan Institute. 

The pair have previously raised concerns about the potential merger and sought clarity over what changes it would bring about.

Ms Allan said the general public ought to be able to have a say on whether the merger should go ahead or not.

"The discussions around this takeover have been held behind closed doors and it's time for the community's views to be taken into consideration," Ms Allan said.

"Maree and I met with the mayor and senior city staff a couple of weeks ago and we raised our concerns about the Liberal TAFE cuts and we have since written to him about a public meeting.

"We were keen to impress upon the mayor and the council that there was a very important leadership role they could play in bringing this into the public domain."

She said that in the past four years the government had cut $1.2 billion from TAFE funding, which was having a detrimental impact on TAFEs across the state, including the Kangan Institute.

She said that a 2013 Kangan Institute annual report revealed that 52 courses and 175 staff had been slashed in the past year.

Mayor Barry Lyons said that retaining Bendigo's TAFE was important but a meeting would be premature.

"There wouldn't be much point having a public meeting until we have all the cards on the table," he said.

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