Bendigo TAFE boss slams talk of closure

BENDIGO TAFE chief executive Maria Simpson has dismissed suggestions the institute could close. 

State Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said there were real concerns the TAFE could close and Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said there was a question over the future of the organisation. 

Member for Northern Victoria Damian Drum said he couldn’t rule out the institute closing, but that it was unlikely. 

Ms Simpson said she was “shocked and dismayed” by the talk of closure.  

“It does not help at all for people to think we are closing,” she said. 

“We are not. We are open. 

“We’ve had a pretty good year and we’re really encouraging both employees and students to think of us as their training option for next year.”

The state government pulled 

$9 million in funding from the TAFE, leading to job cuts and course closures. 

Ms Simpson said the viability of the local campuses was under review. 

“We’ve moved out of some buildings and we have to do a review of our whole footprint,” she said.

“We have three campuses in the city of Bendigo and we will do a review of all of our infrastructure and decide where we are best placed to deliver programs going into the future. 

“It may be that we move some sites but nothing is determined and we wouldn’t do it without community consultation and not without making sure we have the best facilities for the students of Bendigo.” Ms Simpson said staff had been very frank with the community about the cuts.  

“We ask for people’s confidence and assurance in us,” she said.

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